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QSL: Market update week 11

Weekly Sugar Market Overview

Indicative ICE 11 Prices

SeasonAUD/MT*Weekly Change

* The ICE 11 contract is the world benchmark contract for raw sugar trading. These figures are indicative of available ICE 11 raw sugar prices as at the week ending 30 August 2021 and reflect the weighted average Australian Dollar/tonne price. The prices have been adjusted to include Over-the-Counter margin fees charged by banking institutions and so may differ from daily prices quoted by the ICE 11 Exchange or other marketers of Growers’ Economic Interest in Sugar. Values also do not account for any adjustments resulting from local Grower-Miller pricing arrangements. 

Raw Sugar prices

  • Despite a highly anticipated UNICA (Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association) update, raw sugar prices traded sideways for the majority of last week, with the October 2021 ICE 11 contract uncannily closing at the exact same price three sessions in a row. It then pushed higher on Friday to highs of 20.10 USc/lb before closing the week up 2.3% at 20.04 USc/lb.
  • The latest UNICA report for the first half of August showed the Centre South Brazil harvest tracking mostly as expected, with both cane and sugar down approximately 7% year on year. Up until 16 August, 349.5 million tonnes of cane had been harvested this season and 21.3 million tonnes of sugar produced. The sugar/ethanol ratio has remained stable and is floating at 47% sugar/ 53% ethanol, similar to the 2020/21 Season.
  • India’s Union Cabinet approved its highest ever Fair & Remunerative Price (FRP) that mills must pay to its growers for the 2021/22 marketing season. A price of 290 Indian Rupees/quintal of cane was announced, which equates to approximately US$39.80/tonnes of cane. The market remains sensitive to any news surrounding the upcoming season’s export subsidy which may not be announced until as late as November, as it was for the 2020/2021 season.
  • Speculators held a stable position for another week at 251,000 lots net long as at 24 August, down from 257,000 lots the week before.


  • In a similar fashion to sugar, the Australian Dollar (AUD) traded sideways for the majority of last week before kicking higher on Friday off the back of the highly anticipated Jackson Hole economic symposium in the United States. The AUD traded from a low of 71.15 US cents on the Monday up to a high of 73.17 US cents on Friday. 
  • Risk sentiment was choppy throughout the week. It began positively, with China recording 0 daily cases of COVID-19 for the first time in months, before shifting lower after two suicide blasts killed 12 US service members and 60 Afghanistan locals at Kabul airport.
  • US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell brought a dovish tone to his speech at the Jackson Hole event last Friday, improving the market’s risk appetite and boosting the AUD higher. Powell announced there had been clear progress in US employment and stated he had a view to begin tapering the quantitative easing (QE) program later this year. The chairman also made it clear that tapering of QE is not a sign that interest rates will be raised anytime soon. After digesting this news, the market is currently expecting the first rate hike to be around March 2023.


This is a whole-of-season ICE 11 price chart for the 2021 Season, current as of 31 August 2021, based on the current 3:2:1 pricing ratio applicable to QSL Target Price Contract growers. Source: Bloomberg

This report contains information of a general or summary nature. While all care is taken in the preparation of this report, the reliability, accuracy or completeness of the information provided in the document is not guaranteed. The update on marketing and pricing activity does not constitute financial, investment advice. You should seek your own financial advice. Nothing contained in this report should be relied upon as a representation as to future matters. Information about past performance is not an indication of future performance. QSL does not accept any responsibility to any person for the decisions and actions taken by that person with respect to any of the information contained in this report.

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