Singapore: Rabobank has revised down India’s sugar production forecast by more than 20% to around 14.5 million tonnes in the current season due to bad weather, the Dutch bank said on Monday.
“This season’s production forecasts in India, the world’s second-largest producer and largest consumer of sugar, have been revised lower in recent weeks due to below-average monsoonal rainfall linked to a developing El Nino weather pattern,” it said.
“Rabobank is currently forecasting Indian sugar production of 14.5 to 15 million tonnes, down from earlier forecasts of in excess of 20 million tonnes only a few months ago and 45% below the 26.5 million tonnes produced in 2007/08.”
India’s sugar marketing year runs from October to September.
Failed monsoon rains in India have created a critical situation for rural livelihood, drinking water and crops, and late-season rainfall will not reverse crop damage, government top officials said last week.
Monsoon rains have been more than a quarter below normal this year, hitting the oilseeds and cane crops, potentially turning the country into an even bigger importer of sugar and edible oils next year.
Tight supplies in main consumer India and top grower Brazil, robust global demand, and a wall of investment fund money, sent raw sugar prices to multi-year highs, dealers said.
New York’s raw sugar futures almost doubled this year to hit a 28-“year high of 23.33 cents a libra (0.4kg) on 12 August, and Liffe white sugar hit a record $589.90 per tonne on 13 August.