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QSL: Market update

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 5 July 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 new prompt ICE 11 raw sugar contract, October 2021, finished last week up 84 points week-on-week, opening on the Monday at 17.16 US cents per pound (USc/lb), before peaking on Thursday at 18.49 USc/lb and then closing the week at 18.15 USc/lb.
  • The July 2021 ICE 11 contract expiry was highlighted by a relatively small volume of sugar delivered to the tape, just 130,900 tonnes and all Brazilian sugar. The low volume is likely to be an indication of low sugar demand, but may also be symptomatic of the slow progress of Centre South Brazil’s harvest providing the October 2021 contract some price support.
  • The latest Commitment of Traders data reported an increase on the net-long position as of 29 June 2021. The net speculator position is up 6000 lots to 191,000 lots net long. The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that their grain acreage and stocks are below market expectations which should incentivise speculators to continue to invest in agricultural commodities.
  • The Brazilian weather made the headlines again, but this time it was in relation to a potential frost occurring in two states that represent around 14% of Centre South Brazil’s cane. Frosty weather can be disruptive and damaging to new crops, and the impact can be hard to measure. The news ignited a price spike on the October 2021 ICE 11 contract. However, it was short lived.


  • The Australian Dollar (AUD) and equities markets enjoyed a bit of a recovery last week, trading from a low of 74.45 US cents to a peak of 76.02 US cents. However, the Aussie failed once again to hold above the 76 US cent level on a live basis, following news that several Australian states had gone back into COVID lockdowns.
  • Equities enjoyed new highs led by positive US economic data. Non-Farm Payrolls for June hit 850,000 jobs added, above the 720,000 expected. Leisure and hospitality accounted for 40% of the jobs in the month, and government hiring was also strong. 
  • Domestically, Aussie job vacancies grew 23% since May to be 57% above pre-pandemic levels. The Australian trade surplus also showed positive signs, up to $9.7 billion amid solid export and import figures. This positive data, COVID headaches domestically, and the looming tightening of monetary policy in the US are still a concern. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is meeting today (6/7/21) and markets will be paying close attention to it.   


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

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