As per the latest update from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) , EU sugar beet acreage in MY 2017/18 was 1.7 million hectares, which was an 18 percent increase over the MY 2016/17 crop. For MY 2018/19, the sugar beet acreage is forecast to remain stable. Total EU beet sugar production for MY 2018/19, including for industrial purposes, is forecast at 22.0 million MT of Raw Sugar Equivalence (RSE), of which 20.3 million MT is for processing into sugar (HS 1701). The production for MY 2017/18 is revised upwards to 22.8 million MT of sugar RSE, of which 21.1 million MT processed for the sugar market. These sugar production levels are all time records for the EU. These record crops have major implications for EU sugar trade. EU sugar imports in MY 2017/18 and MY 2018/19 are forecast at 1.4 million MT, less than half the volume of just two years ago. This decrease is especially hurting specialized EU sugar cane refiners, who are unable to compete with low EU domestic sugar prices. Freed from the WTO ceiling on EU sugar exports under the EU quota regime, EU sugar exports for MY 2017/18 have started heavily, leading to a revised estimate for the MY 2017/2018 EU sugar exports to 3.7 million MT of sugar RSE, which is 2.5 times higher than last years export levels. If achieved, this export level would make the EU the worlds third largest sugar exporter after Brazil and Thailand and in a tie with Australia.
EU sugar export forecasts for MY 2018/19 anticipate a 20 percent decrease in exports again, in line with lower production forecasts. EU sugar consumption in MY 2017/18 is expected to recover slightly. The abundant and low-priced EU sugar supplies increase the competitiveness of EU sugar-using food processors, such as the chocolate, confectionary and related industries. The increase in exports of these food categories more than offsets decreasing EU domestic sugar consumption, which results from aging demographics and changing consumer preferences for less sugar containing food items. The consumption forecast for MY 2018/19 is stable