Sugar makers to make good first-quarter result on world shortage

Financial experts expect outcome of sugar makers in the first three months of the year will be significant better than the same period of the previous years thanks to the world shortage caused by climate changes.

Refined sugar shelf is empty at a HCMC-branch of the supermarket chain Saigon Co.op Mart (Photo:Minh Tri)

The sugar yield of listed producers is estimated to reach around 216,000 tons in the first quarter, with the selling price of VND17,000 (US$0.85) per kilogram. Experts also expected the sales would be 70-0 percent of the production.

The retail price of sugar at local market moved up to a record high of VND24,000-26,000 per kilogram in the last quarter last year on the increasing global costs, with domestic production failing to meet up customer demand.

Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development show the country’s output is around 1.2 million tons of sugar, while the domestic consumption is expected to of 1.5 million tons this year.

The Ministry last month set import quotas at 250,000 tons of both raw and refined sugar in an effort to stabilize the domestic price. That compares to the 300,000 tons of imported sugar allowed for 2010.

The Finance Ministry will cut import duties on sugar to 15 percent, in April, in order to ensure sufficient supply for the local market.

The current tariff on refined sugar is 40 percent while raw sugar is subject to a 25 percent tax. According to the Finance Ministry, the tax cut will also help keep domestic prices stable.

Financial experts expected that with the increasing price combining with the output capacity and the marginal return rate, listed sugar producers including Bourbon Tay Ninh, Lam Son Sugar and Bien Hoa Sugar would likely to gain a booming outcome in the first quarter.

World shortage
Sugarcane crops had been damaged by the Cyclone Yasi in Australia, with initial estimates suggesting about 15 percent of the national crop could be lost, according to Reuters. The industry estimated that one area, accounting for about a third of the crop, had suffered up to 50 percent losses. Australia is the world’s third largest raw sugar exporter.

The chairman of Australia’s main sugar industry group Canegrowers said up to a quarter of the sugar cane crop in the state of Queensland may have been lost.

“Given there has been such a wide area of impact from the Cyclone Yasi in Australia we are looking at losses on the outer edges of 5 to 10 percent and close to the center of the cyclone up to 50 percent of the crop could be lost,” Alf Cristaudo told Reuters in an interview.

Latest report of the ABN Amro NV and VM Group showed the total sugar output in the harvest season of 2010 and 2011 reached 162.3 million tons worldwide, failing to meet up the expected demand of 165.3 million tons.

Compiled by Vu Minh

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