Sugar-Price Gains in India Seen Slowing on Improved Rainfall

Sugar prices rose at a slower pace last week in the domestic market in India, the world’s biggest consumer of the sweetener, because of improved rainfall, according to Green Pool Commodity Specialists Pty Ltd.

Prices climbed 0.8 percent, less than the week-earlier 4.9 percent, the Brisbane, Australia-based researcher said in a report e-mailed today. Rainfall in India is set to be 96 percent of a 50-year average this month, a level deemed normal, according to L.S. Rathore, director general of the India Meteorological Department.

“Recent weeks have brought improved rainfall to Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, easing drought concerns a little,” Tom McNeill, a director at Green Pool, said in the report.

The monsoon, which accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall, has been 17 percent below average since June 1, the department estimates. India also is the second- largest sugar producer. Uttar Pradesh is the nation’s leading cane-growing state and Maharashtra’s output of the sweetener is the biggest in the country.

The harvest in Maharashtra may drop to 7.5 million to 7.6 million metric tons next year from 9 million tons this year, Kingsman SA said Aug. 10. Output in Uttar Pradesh may rise to as much as 7.9 million tons in the 2012-13 on better irrigation facilities, the Lausanne, Switzerland-based broker said.

In Thailand, the second-biggest sugar exporter, the premium buyers must pay for raw sweetener to the price on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange in New York was steady at 1.7 cents a pound, Green Pool said. Raw sugar from leading global producer Brazil for loading in September was at the same price as on ICE as cane processing accelerated after rains delayed the harvest.

Cane crushing in Brazil’s center south, the main local growing region, rose 11 percent to a record 46.3 million tons in the second half of July, data from industry group Unica showed on Aug. 9.

White, or refined, sugar for October delivery rose 0.3 percent to $580.40 a ton by 10:02 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Raw sugar for October delivery climbed 0.2 percent to 20.78 cents a pound on ICE.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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