Czarnikow raised its forecast for the world sugar production
surplus, cautioning over the dearth of growth in consumption, which is being depressed
in part by China's support for values of the sweetener.
The London-based commodities house lifted by 700,000 tonnes
to 7.8m tonnes its forecast for the surplus in 2012-13, the latest in a series
of upgrades to hopes for world sugar supplies.
Swiss-based Kingsman earlier this month raised its estimate
for the surplus by 2.5m tonnes to 9.2m tonnes, while the International Sugar
Organization last month nudged its forecast higher by 327,000 tonnes to 6.184m
Czarnikow kept its forecast for production unchanged at a little over 180m tonnes, with a cut to
ideas for sugar beet yields in China and Russia offset by increased hopes for
the Mexican cane crop.
'The big question'
However, the group trimmed by 500,000 tonnes to 169.9m
tonnes its forecast for 2012 demand.
And it reduced its forecast too for growth next year, when consumption
will reached 172.2m tonnes, 800,000 tonnes lower than previously expected, despite
weaker prices, down nearly one-half on New York's futures markets from highs in
February last year.
"The rate of growth in production is falling, which reflects
lower prices," Toby Cohen, Czarnikow director said.
"However, the big question is when consumption will start to
respond and we will see a return to the faster rates of growth seen in the past
"So far we haven't seen tangible signs of higher demand,
despite sugar prices falling significantly over the last two years."
Indeed, consumption would, on latest estimates, be just 3.6%
higher in 2013 than three years before.
Production is expected to soar nearly 16% from 2009-10 to
The depressed rate of consumption reflects in part state
support for sugar prices in China, a major sweeteners market, "sustaining high
cane prices, thus buoying demand for corn sweeteners", Czarnikow said.
However, in Mexico, a major market for US-produced high
fructose corn syrup, lower sugar prices, encouraged by a better-than-expected
cane crop, will see a switch away from corn sweeteners.