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QSL: Market update week 18

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 18 October 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

  • The raw sugar market’s well-defined range was reinforced for yet another week as even fresh UNICA (the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association) data failed to push ICE 11 prices convincingly in either direction. The prompt March 2022 ICE 11 contract traded to a high of 20.61 USc/lb on Monday then down to a low on Thursday of 19.48 USc/lb, before closing the week at 19.80 USc/lb. 
  • The much anticipated UNICA report for the second half of September came in slightly above market expectations for the fortnight however accumulated season figures are still well behind last year. 35.3 million tonnes of cane was harvested and 2.2 million tonnes of sugar produced in the two week period, down 12.57% and 21.52% respectively compared to the same period last year. Almost 467 million tonnes of cane has been harvested and over 29 million tonnes of sugar has been produced so far this season. The sugar mix continues to fall away, down to 43.46%, as a larger portion of the remaining cane is used for ethanol production.
  • It was reported that 36 Brazilian mills had finished crushing by 1 October and another 52 expected to close by mid-October. The market will be closely watching this number in the coming weeks in an attempt to gauge the final sugar production figure for the season. 
  • Speculators held their position virtually unchanged week on week, likely contributing to the sideway, range bound trading that sugar prices are experiencing. The Commitment of Traders report as of 12 October shows a combined 209,000 lots net long position held by the specs. 
  • The Brazilian real strengthened slightly across the week to 5.46 against the US Dollar and spot ethanol parity has fallen fractionally to 18.41 USc/lb equivalent. 


  • It was a solid week of gains for the Australian Dollar (AUD) which strengthened over 1.5% after being supported by rising commodity prices. The AUD traded from its weekly low on Monday of 72.92 US cents up to a high on Friday of 74.40 US cents. 
  • In the United States, the consumer price index (CPI) statistic slightly above expectations with a 0.4% month on month and 5.4% year on year change which could be interpreted as further evidence of growing transitory inflation.  
  • Further fears of inflation have crept back into markets off the back of rapidly rising energy prices as global restrictions ease and demand increases. Brent crude oil prices traded as high as $US84.90 a barrel, the first time it has hit above $US80 a barrel since 2014. 
  • The AUD was further boosted by reports China started unloading Australian coal from long-term storage as the energy shortage becomes tight and coal supply depletes. This news comes after China banned imports of Australian coal last year after trade tensions soured.  


This is a whole-of-season ICE 11 price chart for the 2021 Season, current as of 16 October 2021, based on the current 5:1 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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