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USDA GAIN: Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed


09 October 2014

USDA GAIN: Russia Sugar Semi-Annual 2014USDA GAIN: Russia Sugar Semi-Annual 2014

FAS/Moscow lowered its forecast of Russia’s sugar beet production in 2014 from the April 2014 forecast by three million metric tons (MMT) to 36 MMT. This is an eight percent decrease from the sugar beet crop in 2013. This decline is largely attributable to lower yields, although planted area increased by one percent to 918,000 hectares.
USDA GAIN Report - Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed

FAS/Moscow lowered its forecast of Russia’s sugar beet production in 2014 from the April 2014 forecast by three million metric tons (MMT) to 36 MMT. This is an eight percent decrease from the sugar beet crop in 2013. This decline is largely attributable to lower yields, although planted area increased by one percent to 918,000 hectares from 906,000 hectares in 2013. Sugar beet harvest started a week earlier than last year, and as of September 24, 2014, farmers harvested 12.3 million metric tons (MMT) from 333,700 hectares, or 36 percent of planted area. On the same date last year, farmers had harvested 10.5 MMT from 251,000 hectares, which was 28 percent of planted area. Although yields in 2014 have been almost ten percent lower than last year, the speedy harvest and relatively high processor demand for sugar beets will stimulate producers to deliver beets to processors as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Thus, losses of sugar beets on the field and in transit to processing plants will be lower than last year, and much lower than in 2011 and 2012 when the bumper sugar beet crop resulted in significant losses of beets on the field. Assuming minimum losses, the total utilization of sugar beets for sugar is forecast also at 36 MMT.

The reduced supply of sugar beets will result in lower domestic production of white sugar from beets (beet sugar), and therefore FAS/Moscow decreased its forecast of Russia’s beet sugar production to 4.2 MMT. This is five percent below last year’s level, which FAS/Moscow estimates at 4.4 MMT. The recent macro-economic changes in Russia, including the softening of the ruble against the U.S. dollar, economic sanctions against Russia and Russian counter-actions, may result in a shift in Russian consumer demand. This shift is likely to include preferences for less expensive, staple food products, such as sugar and sugar based candies and domestic confectionary products. FAS/Moscow increased its forecasts of sugar domestic consumption in MY 2014/2015 from 5.6 MMT in MY 2013/14 to 5.8 MMT in MY 2014/15.

Until recently human domestic consumption of sugar (Russian beet sugar and imported cane sugar) has been decreasing due to increased consumption of non-sugar sweeteners in the confectionary industry, most of which is imported. Thus, in MY 2004/05 consumption of sugar was 6.3MMT, and decreased to 5.6 MMT in MY 2013/14. Given the expected lower domestic production of sugar beets, FAS/Moscow increased the forecast of imports of raw cane sugar. FAS/Moscow forecasts sugar imports to increase to 1.5 MMT in MY 2014/2015, from 1.2 MMT in MY 2013/2014. Meanwhile sugar exports are forecast to decrease to less than from 10,000 MMT. Most of these exports will be destined for regions of the former CIS countries (South Ossetia and Abkhazia).

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