19 April 2000
Grains, sugar for 2001 recovery

GRAINS and sugar are expected to lead a recovery in soft commodity prices next year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

However, prices will stay weak for this year says the EIU.

While the sugar market got off to a poor start this year and prices are forecast to fall again, prospects are said to be brighter for 2001.

Although stocks will remain historically high, they will drop significantly, and prices are expected to rise by almost 30%, reports the Financial Times.

Wheat stocks are expected to fall 37.3% as demand rises, even though production is expected to reach a record 616 million tonnes.

The EIU predicts that prices will rise 14.9% in 2001, compared to only 2% this year.

Maize prices are also set to rebound, but prospects look poorer for cocoa.

Meanwhile, Chinas winter wheat crop is set to reach last years level, but there are fears that hot May winds could harm the harvest.

Outside estimates put Chinas 2000-2001 wheat crop at 107-108m tonnes, down from 115m tonnes in 2000.

  • Financial Times, 19/04/2000, page 40