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QSL: Market update week 14

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 20 September 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

  • Last week was a volatile one for raw sugar prices, with the ICE 11 October 2021 contract rising on positive global risk sentiment mid-week before sharply reversing and giving back most of the gains in the latter half of the week as risk sentiment soured. The Oct21 contract traded from its Monday low of 18.57 USc/lb to a weekly high of 19.65 USc/lb on the Wednesday before closing the week at 19.18 USc/lb, up 39 points for the week.
  • Energy markets led the rally on Wednesday as funds bought into the news that Hurricane Nicholas had landed in the US Gulf of Mexico states, potentially disrupting oil supplies already down 50% in the Gulf following Hurricane Ida. Oil prices led the charge, dragging most of the commodity board higher.
  • 8,300 fires were registered in Centre South Brazil in the first half of September as dry weather persists, increasing the risk of damage to cane areas. Disruption to harvesting schedules for the current season is very likely, but the physical damage to 2022-Season cane remains yet to be seen.
  • Speculators are reported to have decreased their net long position further as of 14 September. The most recent Commitment of Traders report shows a reduction of 23,000 lots to 209,000 lots net long.
  • Ethanol parity remains reasonably stable, floating at approximately 18.41 USc/lb, coinciding with the 50-day moving average and providing the market with its most recent floor.


  • The Australian Dollar (AUD) came under heavy pressure last week as its closely paired commodity partner, iron ore, collapsed more than 20%. The AUD traded from its high of 73.76 US cents on the Tuesday down to its low of 72.62 US cents on Friday, losing 1.4% for the week.
  • Iron ore prices dropped off the back of Chinese steel production slowing as well as the China Evergrande Group (one of China’s largest property developers) closing in on defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of debt. Iron ore futures traded below $US100/tonne on Friday for the first time since July last year and are now down almost 60% since record highs in May.
  • Official labour force data revealed the Australian unemployment rate fell 0.1% in August, down to 4.5%. However, this figure is misleading as over 146,000 workers have left the workforce altogether. In NSW alone, approximately 210,000 people were likely forced out of work over the month due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • Australian consumer sentiment rose 2.0% in the month of September in a Westpac Consumer Sentiment survey, indicating confidence is improving as the vaccine rollout appears to improve and consumers look to sustained improvement after the current lockdown.


This is a whole-of-season ICE 11 price chart for the 2021 Season, current as of 20 September 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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