Cepea, March 3, 2020 – The monthly average price for crystal sugar has been on the rise since July 2019. Thus, in February, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index for crystal sugar (Icumsa 130-180 – São Paulo) hit 78.35 BRL per 50-kilo bag, the highest average for the month since 2017 – when, it is worth to mention, the real Index was at 95.19 BRL/bag (values were deflated by the IGP-DI from Jan/2020).
According to data from Cepea, the average Index in February was 5.4% higher than that from January (at 74.33 BRL per 50-kilo bag), 7.55% higher than that in February 2019 (72.85 BRL per 50-kilo bag) and 28.45% higher than that in February 2018 (61.00 BRL/bag), in real terms.
In the off-season period (2019/20), refineries from São Paulo have been supplying lower sugar volumes to the spot market, increasing asking prices. This attitude is attributed to low inventories in Brazil and the record US dollar (in nominal terms), which has favored exports. Besides, the international prices for demerara sugar had occasional sharp rises last month, closing at 15 cents of dollar per pound on some days, helping to push up quotes for crystal sugar in Brazil.