Quarterly Market Outlook - February 2021



Deficit in 2020/21 increases to 4.782 mln tonnes from 3.504 mln tonnes in November/20

Latest revision of 2019/20 balance returns a smaller surplus of 0.822 mln tonnes

Consumption in 2020/21 revised lower, but remains 2.08% above 2019/20

Global trade balance is neutral following upward revision in exports

Stock to use ratio to end 2020/21 at 53 percent, down 4 percent from last season

Futures market prices strengthen, markets in backwardation for 2021 positions

USD and BRL weaken in 2021

Domestic prices rise in China, and fall in India, Mexico, and Russia


Commodity Prices

Weaker USD broadly supportive for commodity prices, crude oil prices breach USD60/bbl

Corn prices rally to highest level since 2013, soybean prices trade at a 6-year high


Fuel Ethanol

Despite recovery prospects, world supply and demand will not return to pre-pandemic levels

Global production in 2021 revised to 106.0 bln litres, below the 113.2 bln litres produced in 2019. Global consumption to recover to 103.5 bln litres, 7.6 bln litres above 2020

US production set to rise while Brazil mills focus on sugar production, rather than ethanol


Bioplastics and Biochemicals

Braskem moves storage facility to the Port of Rotterdam

US Corbion plans to increase lactic acid production capacity, a primary ingredient in PLA



62% of Brazil’s total cogeneration came from bagasse in 2020

In calendar year 2020, India’s bagasse-based cogeneration fell 7.6%


Alternative Sweeteners

COVID-19 lowered US HFCS consumption by 6% and HFCS exports to Mexico by 10.5% in 2020

Corn costs skyrocket but wet millers forward-covered at lower prices

Lower beet sugar production could see EU isoglucose output kick-up in 2020/21

Food and drink manufacturers in China look to switch from HFCS to sugar

China produced 7.4% more saccharin during January-November 2020



Global molasses production forecast (excluding Brazil) up 3% in 2020/21

Easing cane molasses prices cross with rising sugar values

Limited COVID-19 impact on molasses offtake, African Swine Flu impact muted in Europe

India could direct more molasses to fuel ethanol limiting exports

Thailand’s 2020/21 molasses balance very tight - exports plummet and imports surge

US Q4 molasses imports hit three-year low


WTO Update

Members appoint new DG

COVID-19 pandemic underlines need for open markets and transparency

Agricultural ministers urgently need to advance WTO negotiations



UK-Singapore FTA and China and Mauritius FTA come into force

Trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement started 1 January

 The UK and EU agree bilateral trade deal – The Trade and Cooperation Agreement


i-iii 			Executive Brief

1			World Sugar Market
	  1		World Balance
	  3		Supply
	  3		Production
	 14		Export Availability
	 17		Demand
	 18		Consumption
	 19		Import Demand
	 21		Brief(21)01 – Trade Balance for Raw and White Sugar
	 22		World Market Events and Prices
  	 25		Currency Movements
	 27		Domestic Prices

29			Commodity Prices

31			World Fuel Ethanol
	 31		Overview
	 32		Production
	 26		Consumption
	 39		Trade
	 41		Prices

44			Bioplastics and Biochemicals

45			Cogeneration

46			Alternative Sweeteners
	 46		HFCS / Isoglucose
	 49		Intensive Sweeteners

50			Molasses

54			WTO Update

55			Regional Trade Agreements

57			Special Focus: The UK FTAs

58			World Sugar Balance Estimates

The views expressed in this document are those of the ISO Secretariat.  They do not necessarily represent the views of the ISO Members.
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