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Sugarcane production rises as beet harvest falls, USDA

By Philippa Jones , 31-May-2007

US sugarbeet production will decrease, while sugar cane production is forecast to increase during fiscal year 2008 compared to 2007, according to statistics released by the USDA

The USDA said in its most recent sugar and sweeteners outlook summary that national sugarbeet production should reach 4.520m short tons, raw value (STRV) in fiscal 2008 if sucrose levels remain stable and productivity continues to increase at the expected rate.

This would put 2008 sugarbeet production at about 494,000 STRV less than the USDA's estimate of 5.014m STRV for 2007.

US sugar cane production is, however, forecast to increase by 245,000 STRV compared to this year, reaching 3.735m STRV.

The biggest increases are expected in Florida and Louisiana, where the USDA believes sugar yields will grow more than 7 percent above this year's levels.

Assuming the same sugarcane area is harvested as in 2007, the USDA projects production in Florida at 1.870m STRV and in Louisiana at 1.430m STRV.

Texas is expected to harvest 206,000 STRV and Hawaii 229,000 STRV.

Sugar exports for 2008 are expected to decrease by 125,000 STRV from the level estimated for 2007 to reach 250,000 STRV.

About 80 percent of these exports are likely to end up in Mexico where they will be used in the country's product re-export program.

Raw and refined sugar tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) for 2008 have not yet been announced, but the May World Agricultural Supply and Estimates (WASDE) believes they will be set at 1.284m STRV, assuming a shortfall of 70,000 STRV.

The USDA therefore suggests imports from Mexico outside the TRQ will be worth 75,000 STRV.

Other program sugar imports outside the sugar TRQ for 2008 are projected to total 425,000 STRV, while other non-program imports for 2008 are forecast to reach 5,000 STRV.

Deliveries for domestic food and beverage use for 2008 are projected at 10.000 million STRV, a modest increase of 50,000 STRV over the 2007 delivery estimate.

The projection for the Sugar-Containing Product Re-export deliveries is 125,000 STRV, a decrease of 25,000 from the estimate for 2007.

The USDA forecasts 2008 Mexican sugar production at 5.618m metric tons, raw value (MTRV), an increase of 318,000 MTRV above this year's estimated level of 5.300m MTRV.

The area of sugarcane area harvested is projected to increase by 15,000 hectares, growing to 660,000 hectares, while production is estimated to reach 47.600m metric tons (mt).

The USDA sets 2008 Mexican sugar deliveries for human consumption at 5.4 m MTRV, an increase of 50,000 MTRV over 2007.

Consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is estimated at 750,000 mt, an increase of 50,000 mt compared to this year.

Mexican sugar exports are projected at 75,000 MTRV and deliveries to Mexico's sugar-containing re-export program are projected at 335,000 MTRV.

The USDA's full sugar and sweeteners outlook report will be published next week.

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