Russia this year will reduce the production of beet sugar to 4.9-5.3 million tons, the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) predicts. The forecast is made taking into account the processing of syrup and molasses. The new forecast is slightly lower than the previous one, which amounted to 5-5.4 million tons.
As the leading IKAR expert Yevgeny Ivanov told Interfax, the decrease in the estimate is due to the fact that recently “the difference between digestion (sugar content of beets) and the yield of sugar has grown significantly.” “To a large extent, sugar goes into molasses,” he said. According to IKAR, sugar production per hectare of beet crops this year will amount to 5.4 tons against 6.87 tons last year.
In addition, Ivanov noted, the processing of beets this year began one to three weeks later than last year. In most regions, there is a significant decrease in yield, especially in the south and in the Voronezh region. At the same time, in three regions – in the Ulyanovsk region, Altai Krai and Tatarstan – the yield is higher than last year. In Bashkiria, Kursk and Ryazan regions, the yield decreased, but not significantly.
At the same time, Ivanov said that the forecast will be further clarified after the start of mass harvesting and processing of sugar beets in all 25 beet-growing regions. By September 22, 5 out of 69 factories had not yet processed beets (a year ago – 3 out of 74) in Lipetsk, Ryazan regions, Mordovia, Karachay-Cherkessia and Chechnya. In addition, there is no data yet on the harvesting of beets in Chuvashia and the Volgograd region.
According to Ivanov, this year the structure of the sugar market in the Russian Federation may change. “The southern macroregion, taking into account the continuing auto export of sugar to a number of neighboring republics, by the end of the current season, may turn into a net importer and start shipping sugar from the Central Chernozem region, and self-pickup prices from southern factories will be steadily higher throughout the season than in the Chernozem region,” he said. “In the previous 20 years, this was extremely rare and lasted literally several weeks, usually only at the end of the season.”
At the same time, Ivanov said that the decline in production will not affect the country's supply of sugar, the demand for which is estimated at 5.98 million tons per year. “Even under an extremely unfavorable scenario, there will be enough sugar for everyone, since large reserves have been accumulated over the past five years,” he stressed.
“As of early August, that is, at the beginning of the new season, the market, taking into account Belarus, has a” canopy “of 981 thousand tons of sugar, – said Ivanov. – And what will be produced above 5 million tons will need to be exported “. In addition, according to his forecast, the daily sugar production from the third decade of September will exceed 50 thousand tons with a consumption of about 17 thousand tons.