By FWi staff

GLOBAL sugar prices are set to fall during the coming nine months, dashing hopes of an increase in returns for UK growers from the 1998/99 crop.

The world sugar price is predicted to plummet by 6.6% throughout 1998, according to the latest report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Previous forecasts had said prices would rise by 8.8%.

The latest World Commodity Forecast, released by the EIU yesterday, says the bleaker outlook can largely be attributed a market weakened by a drop in demand.

The global market will remain in surplus during the year because the economic crisis in Asia has meant reduced consumption in the Pacific region, the report says.