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Russia’s Beet-Sugar Exports Seen by Ikar Falling to 120,000 Tons

Russia’s beet-sugar exports are seen declining to 120,000 metric tons or less in the season started Aug. 1 because consumers are switching to lower-priced European supplies, the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies said.

That compares with an export estimate of 150,000 tons or less, which was made by the institute, known as Ikar, in October. Last season, Russia shipped more than 300,000 tons for the first time after a record crop and output, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

Russia’s traditional consumers, which are Central Asian states, are buying beet-sugar from Ukraine, Belarus and the European Union, Evgeny Ivanov, Ikar’s sugar analyst, said by phone in Moscow today.

Ikar maintains its beet-sugar estimate at between 4.4 million and 4.7 million tons, Ivanov said, adding it may fall to about 4.5 million tons. That led Ikar to raise its import forecast for white sweetener to about 300,000 tons and for raw sugar to about 500,000 tons for the season, Ivanov said.

The first vessel with more than 30,000 tons of imported raw sugar will arrive in December, which is “surprisingly” earlier than Ikar expected, he said. The lot will most probably be refined for industrial consumers that need certain sweetener specifications, which cannot be met from refining domestic sugar-beets, Ivanov said. Most of the raw-sugar imports aren’t expected before March, he said.

The seasonal import estimates were raised from October’s 280,000 tons of refined sweetener and at least 350,000 tons of raw-sugar.

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