ISO forecasts global sugar deficit of nearly 5 million tonnes in 2019/20
LONDON (Reuters) - The International Sugar Organization on Monday forecast a global sugar deficit of 4.76 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season, driven partly by lower production in India and Thailand.
The inter-governmental body, in its first full outlook for the 2019/20 season which begins on Oct. 1, saw global production falling by 2.35% to 171.98 million tonnes, while consumption will rise by 1.34% to 176.74 million.
"The fundamentals provide some grounds for cautious optimism concerning future dynamics in world prices," the ISO said in a quarterly update.
Production in India is seen falling to 28.3 million tonnes in 2019/20, from the previous season's 33.0 million, while in Thailand output will drop to 12.9 million tonnes from 14.4 million.
The ISO noted that consumption growth was expected to be below the 1.8% average seen up to 2016/17.
"A considerable part of losses in consumption growth rates can be attributed to a slowing in global population growth, but data on per capita consumption also shows a descending trend as a result of impact from the 'sugar and health' debate and the wave of introductions of additional taxes on sugar-containing products," the ISO said.
The ISO forecast a surplus of 1.72 million tonnes for the 2018/19 season which finishes at the end of this month.
(Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by Deepa Babington and Susan Fenton)