February 8, 2018 / 5:34 PM / in 4 months

USDA ups domestic sugar stocks-to-use ratio, sees record output

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday slightly raised its forecast for a closely watched sugar supply indicator as higher beginning stocks and lower demand offset reduced production expectations for the current crop year.

The stocks-to-use ratio stood at 14.6 for the 2017/18 year through September, up from 14.4 last month, and down from 15.1 in 2016/17, the USDA said in its monthly outlook.

The USDA slightly reduced its forecast for total beet and cane production to 9.23 million short tons (8.37 million tonnes) from 9.31 million short tons previously. That would still represent the highest production ever, according to official USDA estimates dating back to 1959/1960, beating out a previous record seen 18 years ago.

Demand was pegged at 12.48 million tonnes, versus January’s 12.55 million tons, with the agency citing slower-than-expected deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2017.

To read more of this month’s USDA sugar outlook, go here:.

Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by James Dalgleish

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