White Sugar Premium Climbs in Thailand, Steady in India, Europe

The premium buyers are prepared to pay for white, or refined, sugar from the European Union, Thailand and India held firm or climbed in the past week because of increased demand, according to Swiss Sugar Brokers.

Sugar from Thailand for May loading is $25 a metric ton more than the August futures on NYSE Liffe, up from $20 a ton on April 22, the company said in a report dated yesterday. Premiums were unchanged at $35 a ton for EU sugar at the French ports of Dunkirk and Le Havre and at Antwerp, Belgium and $15 a ton from India, it said.

“Values are getting supported, whether EU, Thai or Indian sugar, on the back of some sales made to Sudan, the Middle East and North Africa and to West Africa,” Naim Beydoun, a broker at the Rolle, Switzerland-based company, wrote in the report.

White sugar climbed 0.3 percent last week. It has dropped 4.1 percent this year in London while the raw variety tumbled 8.6 percent in New York. The premium for white sugar over raw sugar futures climbed 22 percent over the period.

“A lower flat price does not generate more final buying of raws, but does generate more white buying,” Paul Bannister, head of sugar brokerage at Marex Spectron Group in London, said in a report e-mailed today.

Buyers of raw sugar from top global producer Brazil are getting a discount of 0.05 cent a pound to the May contract on ICE Futures U.S. for sugar for loading from May 15 to June 15 at ports in the center south, the country’s main growing region, data from Swiss Sugar Brokers show. That compares to a premium of 0.1 cent a pound on April 22, according to the data.

More Negative

“Premiums are getting more negative daily,” Beydoun said, adding that the weakness resulted from a trade surplus.

Sugar supplies will outpace demand by 6 million tons in the 2011-12 season started in October, up from a previous forecast of 5.2 million tons, according to the International Sugar Organization in London.

White sugar futures for August delivery were up 0.2 percent at $578 a ton by 10:46 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London. Raw sugar for July delivery rose 0.3 percent to 21.28 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

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