EU sugar rises as regional market tightens, world prices languish

LONDON (Reuters) – Spot sugar prices in the European Union are recovering from last year’s record lows as world prices languish, prompting a pick-up in imports to one of the few global regions where output is slumping. The EU sugar market is restructuring, with Europe’s biggest sugar refiner Suedzucker planning to shut five plants next season in a bid to combat overproduction, which soared in 2017/18 after the EU scrapped output and export quotas. Spot EU white sugar prices were at 422 euros ($474) a tonne in late March, according to price provider S&P Global Platts, while global white sugar prices on ICE are currently at around $330 a tonne, not far off the 2018 decade low of $307.50. (Graphic: EU versus global white sugar prices – tmsnrt.rs/2WKQfre) The rise in spot EU prices is not captured in official European Commission data, which shows average prices at end-January at 312 euros a tonne based on invoices paid by buyers who booked their purchases at the start of the season. “Commission price data is lagged. At sugar conferences at the moment people talk of low European prices, but in the real world prices have firmed up quite a bit and should continue… continue reading

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