23 May 2000
Sugar prices soar

SUGAR prices are at their highest in more than a year, reports the Financial Times.

This follows news that Brazils harvest will be smaller than expected and European farmers will plant less beet.

Raw sugar futures in New York were dealing for around 7¢/lb, up more than 2¢ since February.

Brazil has suffered from drought, and the 2000-01 crop is expected to be 4m tonnes down on last years record 21 million tonnes, says the International Sugar Organisation (ISO).

European sowing has fallen partly in response to EU quotas and because of low prices.

The ISO says planting will fall by 7-8% in France, 7.6% in Germany and 5% in Britain.

But a smaller planting area could be offset by higher yields created by good weather, notes the ISO.

Meanwhile, Mexicos second largest sugar refiner has sought protection from the creditors, reports the FT .

Grupo Azucarero Mexico, was granted respite from paying $126m (85m) debts, including $20m in interest and $100m owed to sugar cane farmers.

  • Financial Times 23/05/2000 page 38