International Sugar Journal

Monthly Snapshot June [Full subscriber]

Market Overview Failing a massive supply shock, probably caused by the vagaries of inclement weather globally, it is safe to say, that bearish pressure on sugar price will remain. As […]

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The Blackboard

Entrainment – Sampling & Analysis [Full subscriber]

Sampling condensed vapours and condenser waters is never easy. Beale (1959, 1962) and Claire (1965, 1967) mention practical difficulties encountered. Vapour sampling involves iso-kinetic (constant velocity) principles which require sophisticated equipment to obtain representative condensed vapour samples. Most workers have sampled condensates and condenser waters, using simplified sampling equipment. One of the problems associated with condenser waters is that the inlet water usually contains sugar. The large volumes of water and low concentrations of sugar can cause serious errors. A simple calculation illustrates the difficulty; we assume that the condenser inlet and outlet waters contain 70ppm of sugar, that 1 ton of vapour requires 30 tons of inlet water, and that the analytical precision is ±1ppm.

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Monthly Snapshot May [Registered]

Consensus from analysts (e.g. Rabobank, Fo Licht, Macquarie, Commonwealth Bank of Australia) remain that with the world awash with sugar, and stocks amply replenished from four years of surplus, this will continue to generate negative pressure on prices for the time being. For the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that the global sugar price will hover beyond 12-13 cents/lb. The market over the past few months has been currency-driven with strong US dollar against weakening Brazilian real driving sugar producers to maintain with the commodity, rather than switching to ethanol, as prices remain relatively attractive. But as Morgan Stanley has maintained, “the Brazilian real would need to weaken to at least 3.90 [against the dollar] to render the industry profitable.” Rabobank notes that “tighter import regulations by governments in main destinations like China and Indonesia have led to the reining in of raw sugar imports from refiners in these countries.”

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Exploitation of child labour in cane industry must stop

Elizabeth Abbot’s “bittersweet history” of sugar is a compelling read1. The section on “slave-sugar complex” is a testimony of crimes against humanity that history witnesses time and time again. For […]

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Monthly Snapshot April [Registered]

Lately, the key driver for falling sugar price has been the sharp fall in the Brazilian real. The drop in sugar price has mirrored the drop in the value of real which has weakened from 2.20 to 3.30 to the dollar in the past 6 months. The price of sugar fell to US12.7¢ per pound on 13th March, the lowest since March 2009 when the real hit a 12-year low against the US dollar. Since late January, the sugar price has dropped 20%, which is now below the cost of production for producers in Australia, who export 80% of their output.

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Subsidies, policies and productivity

What fun gods are currently having with the global sugar industry. The frustration of the Indian sugar millers, sighing relief after being bailed out by export subsidies of some US$64/tonne […]

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The Blackboard

Entrainment – basic concepts [Registered]

Spencer & Meade (1948) state that during evaporation there is always the possibility of sucrose loss due to the carrying over, or entrainment, of small drops of juice or syrup […]

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Monthly Snapshot March [Registered]

According to FO Licht’s latest forecast, the sharpest decrease in output is expected in South America, where total output is seen falling by 3.4 mln tonnes year-on-year to 44.2 mln. Bulk of the reduction is from Brazil where sugar output fell 6.8% on the year to 31.956 mln tonnes (34.267).

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Sugar industry’s powerful lobbies

One of the abiding features of the global sugar industry is that it is not informed by a level playing field. Various industries, through policy instruments from their governments are […]

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Will the target of sugar production of 200m tonnes by 2020 be reached?

Against the backdrop of rising consumption, doubts begin to appear as to whether the global industry can supply the additional 20 million tonnes sugar by 2020. What is clear at […]

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