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QSL: Market update week 19

26 October 2021

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 25 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

  • After almost two months of range-bound trading, speculators finally lost patience and liquidated a portion of their position, breaking ICE 11 raw sugar futures through the bottom of the range. The prompt Mar22 contract traded as low as 18.82 USc/lb before bouncing back to close the week down 3.6% at 19.08 USc/lb. The break lower appeared to be temporary however, as sugar futures have strengthened back into the range early this week.
  • Contributing to this sell-off was likely the rising economic issues in Brazil as its President Jair Bolsonaro loses his battle against rising fuel prices. Gasoline giant Petrobras issued a statement outlining it may not be able to supply its gasoline requirements unless prices were increased further. The Brazilian real lost 4.5% to 5.65 per USD.
  • Following five weeks of virtually no change to their position, speculators shed more than a quarter of their net long position. The specs reduced their net long position from 209,000 lots down to 158,000 lots week-on-week.
  • There have been reports that the Indian government is prepared to dramatically increase the price of ethanol in an attempt to convince more mills to divert cane to ethanol production.
  • Crop forecasts out of Thailand have increased slightly from 9.5 million mt to 10 million mt of sugar following improved rainfall, however these figures are still very loose estimates. Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions many surveyors have struggled to analyse the Thai crop to the same extent as previous years.


  • The Australian dollar experienced another strong week of trading as it moved up to highs of 75.46 US cents, supported by rising commodity prices and inflation predictions. The AUD traded from its weekly low on Monday of 73.79 US cents closing the week higher at 74.68 US cents. 

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) October minutes confirmed the RBA is confident it will not see conditions for a rate hike until 2024, as they believe actual inflation will not be in the 2-3% goal sustainability until this time. Despite this announcement, the market has priced in a 70-80 point hike in 2022 as investors believe the Australian economy will strengthen rapidly as vaccination rates increase and lockdowns end. The Q3 inflation data release this week will be closely monitored by markets.

  • For the seventh week in a row, Brent crude oil closed the week in the green as US inventories remain at its lowest levels since 2018 and concerns over coal and natural gas shortages in Europe, China and India spook markets. WTI oil closed the week up 1.7% at $US83.52/barrel and Brent crude oil closed up 1.0% at $US85.53/barrel.

  • News out of China reported that property giant Evergrande managed to bail out some water from what seems like an inevitably sinking ship by making an $83.5 billion dollar interest payment. This comes after the developer attempted, and failed, to sell a majority stake in its property management arm which would have raised a desperately needed $2.6 billion.


This is a whole-of-season ICE 11 price chart for the 2021 Season, current as of 24 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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