Quarterly Market Outlook - May 2021



  • Deficit in 2020/21 reduced to 3.142 mln tonnes, from 4.782 mln tonnes in February
  • Mid-term brief points to a deficit of 2.674 mln tonnes in 2021/22
  • Consumption in 2020/21 revised lower, following COVID-19 and holiday travel adjustments
  • Global trade balance is neutral, CS Brazil exports will dominate for the rest of the season
  • Stock to use ratio revised up to 54.6 percent
  • Futures market prices strengthened since February, but nearby spreads no longer in backwardation
  • The ISO continues to hold a neutral view on the market
  • BRL and CNY strengthen
  • Domestic prices rise to nominal record in Brazil

Commodity Prices

  • Weaker USD supportive for commodity prices, crude oil prices reach USD70/bbl
  • Corn prices rally to near 9-year high, soybean and wheat prices trade at multi-year highs

Fuel Ethanol

  • Global production in 2021 revised to 103.9 bln litres and set to increase to 109.7 bln litres in 2022
  • Global consumption to recover to 103.4 bln litres in 2021, rising to 107.3 bln litres in 2022
  • US production set to rise, despite higher input costs. Brazil mills continue to focus on sugar
  • Despite a recovery, world supply and demand in 2022 will not return to pre-pandemic levels

Bioplastics and Biochemicals

  • Diverting ethanol to bioplastics production would help save emissions, according to Braskem
  • Cosun Beet Company joins Avantium join forces to produce beet-based glycols


  • In Brazil, SP state was responsible for 54% of total sales to the grid in 2020/21
  • In Mauritius, cogeneration of electricity could rise to 440 GWh with the upgrading of plants

Alternative Sweeteners

  • US HFCS offtake forecast to weaken further in 2021
  • US exports to Mexico fell by 11% in 2020
  • Corn costs skyrocket but wet millers forward covered at lower prices
  • EU isoglucose output to rise moderately in 2020/21
  • HFCS prices in China weaken slightly with no significant switch to sugar by food and drink manufacturers
  • Extraordinary rise in Allulose demand
  • Ingredion-Amyris team up to produce steviol glycosides via fermentation
  • SweetGen’s Reb B given GRAS status
  • China’s Saccharin production limited to 19,000 tonnes


  • Global molasses production forecast up marginally in 2020/21
  • Easing cane molasses prices cross with rising sugar values
  • Limited COVID-19 and African Swine Flu impact on molasses demand
  • India’s molasses exports higher
  • Thailand’s exports plummet and imports surge
  • Higher US demand on high corn prices
  • EU molasses demand to remain high but supplies lacking

WTO Update

  • Fisheries subsidies, outcomes on agriculture and the COVID-19 pandemic to feature at 12th Ministerial Conference
  • Meaningful outcomes on agriculture needed
  • Delivering concrete negotiated results critical to WTO’s credibility


  • Talks for new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement advance
  • AfCFTA negotiations to conclude by the end of June
  • Negotiations for India-EU trade and investment agreement resume
  • India-Mauritius CECPA now in effect
  • Indonesia-EFTA trade agreement nears approval
  • Japan’s parliament approved joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
  • New EU-ACP Partnership Agreement to succeed the 2000 Cotonou Agreement


i-iii 			Executive Brief

1			World Sugar Market
	  1		World Balance
	  3		Supply
	  4		Brief(21)02  –The outlook for the 2021/22 season
	  5		Production
	 16		Export Availability
	 19		Demand
	 20		Consumption
	 20		Import Demand
	 23		Brief(21)03 – Trade Balance for Raw and White Sugar
	 24		World Market Events and Prices
  	 27		Currency Movements
	 29		Domestic Prices

31			Commodity Prices

33			World Fuel Ethanol
	 33		Overview
	 33		Production
	 38		Consumption
	 40		Trade
	 42		Prices

45			Bioplastics and Biochemicals

46			Cogeneration

47			Alternative Sweeteners
	 47		HFCS / Isoglucose
	 50		Intensive Sweeteners

52			Molasses

56			WTO Update

57		RTAs and Sugar Provisions

59			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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