Sugar prices hit 11-year high as weather impacts producers

Sugar prices are set to rise significantly in the next few months as extreme weather affects producers across the globe. An outlook of raw sugar futures shows the price has jumped to highs of 25 cents a pound to hit their highest level in 11 years. Prices are more than 35% up year-to-date and over 33% in the past year.

Amid the sharp increase of the price of the commodity are concerns that the costs of related food and beverage items will also spike. Among the costs to be passed to consumers are likely to be on bread, candy, confectionary, and soda.

How much food prices have increased in a single year:

🍞 Bread: 18.9%
🍝 Pasta: 24.1%
🍳 Eggs: 32%
🥛 Low-fat milk: 38.8%
🍩 Sugar: 42.1%
🫒Olive oil: 49.2%

— Mind, Body & Sole (@MindBodySoleUK) April 24, 2023

The overall picture in international sugar prices could also impact the US Federal Reserve’s battle against inflation given rising food prices.


US #food prices rose over 8% YoY through March.

The recent rally in international sugar prices may cause processed food prices to increase.

This would present a challenge for the Federal Reserve in its fight against inflation.📈🍴🛒 #Fed #inflation pic.twitter.com/FNo73vJjZU

— Teucrium ETFs (@TeucriumETFs) April 24, 2023

Sugar prices set to remain elevated

According to market observers, the prices for sugar have seen a major uptick in the past several months, with the situation not helped by the extreme weather conditions in major sugar producing countries.

In this case, the bullish outlook for sugar is expected to hold and could see prices increase even further. Helping this perspective is the fact that the cane crushing season across Asia is ending and what’s been seen so far are forecasts for large downward adjustments of the crop. These forecasts are down to the potential impact of El Nino on crop production. As with the broader agricultural sector, rain is a key factor in sugar production.

Countries likely to experience notable reductions due to weather risks include India – the world’s second-largest sugar producer behind Brazil. Other Asian sugar producing giants seeing huge revisions are China, Thailand, and Pakistan.

While sugarcane production, which accounts for 80% of global sugar volumes, is expected to fall, it’s not the only concern. Also to impact prices are projections for a shortfall in beet crop across Europe, with beets accounting for about 20% of the world’s sugar.

Also contributing to the high sugar prices is the OPEC decision on oil output, with slashed production and expected increase in oil prices likely to impact producers.

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