March 13, 2019 / 7:30 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Sucden sees global sugar supply deficit widening to 4 mln tns

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RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil, March 13 (Reuters) - French sugar trader Sucres et Denrees SA, or Sucden, expects a larger deficit in the world’s sugar supply balance in the 2019-20 crop year (October-September), at around 4 million tonnes, due to projected decreases in output in India, Thailand and the European Union.

Eduardo Sia, a sugar trader for Sucden in Brazil, said during a conference in Ribeirão Preto that sugar production in Thailand should fall around 10 percent in 2019-20 to 12 million tonnes, as cane farmers switch to other crops that could offer better returns.

Sia said sugar prices in Thailand have fallen around 20 percent since the government made adjustments in some subsidies to the sector, following a World Trade Organization agreement.

“They are starting to feel the weight of a more open market,” the trader said, referring to sugar and cane producers in Thailand.

India’s production was seen at around 26 or 27 million tonnes in 2019-20, down from 31.7 million tonnes expected for 2018-19, projected Sucden. The reduction is partly a consequence of less favorable climate conditions.

Sucden expects European farmers to reduce beet sugar planting as well, as a reaction to falling prices for the sweetener in the bloc. The trader sees a 5 percent fall in area.

Sucden’s new projection for the global sugar supply balance compares to its view of a deficit of near half a million tonnes for the 2018-19 crop year. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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