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QSL: Market update week 20

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 1 November 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 ICE 11 raw sugar market is still recovering from last week’s speculators liquidation. The prompt March 2022 contract traded as low as 18.98 USc/lb last week, climbing to a high of 19.86 USc/lb on the Wednesday before losing steam to finish the week at 19.27 USc/lb.
  • Speculators did not do much after their big sell-off, with their net-long position  virtually unchanged at 159,000 lots, down only 1000 lots.
  • Reporting for the second half of October from the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association, UNICA, showed that 89% of this season’s Brazilian crop had been harvested. During the reporting period 195 mills were operating, while 67 mills had finished for the season and 83 were about to finish. A UNICA executive said that despite current attractive sugar prices, mills had switched around 1 million tonnes of sugar to much-needed ethanol, confirming the shift in the sugar/ethanol mix that normally takes place at the end of the Brazilian harvest. To date, 30 million tonnes of sugar have been produced in Brazil compared to 34 million tonnes last season. Total crop consensus is still around 32 million tonnes.
  • Investors are not confident that the Brazilian government is putting in the effort required to control their currency and inflation. Attempting to manage the current crises, the Central Bank of Brazil has increased interest rates by 150 basis points from 6.25% to 7.75%. On the other hand, the news that President Bolsonaro’s government had suspended their constitutional mandatory spending cap to finance a spending reform created more uncertainty and risk.  
  • The Indian harvest started about 10-15 days later than expected in Maharashtra/Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh should start in about a fortnight. Market consensus is that India will export 6 million tonnes of sugar this year.


  • It was a strong week for the Australian Dollar (AUD), supported by key commodity exports and overall positive sentiment. The AUD traded its low on Monday of 74.64 US cents and closed the week higher at 75.56 US cents.
  • The energy sector was the highlight, with Brent crude oil gains retreating slightly off a high of $US86.50 to settle at around $US84 a barrel. Uncertainties surround OPEC+ production, and not exceeding 400,000 barrels per day will be the centre of the discussion at their next meeting on November 4.
  • In the USA, last week’s data shows a slower growth than expected. The COVID-19 Delta variant has impacted the pace of the recovery in various sectors, such as auto sales, food services, accommodation and home sales. The US economy expanded at an annualised rate of 2.0% in Quarter 3, below the forecast of 2.7%.
  • China’s Purchasing Managers Index was softer than expected, declining to 49.2 from 49.6 in October. Power shortages and a surge in commodity prices impacted the manufacturing sector, especially because they are still insisting on a zero-COVID policy.


This is a whole-of-season ICE 11 price chart for the 2021 Season, current as of 2 November 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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