Sugar Imports by Russian Customs Union to Fall 50%, Group Says
Imports of raw sugar into the customs union grouping Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will fall by half to 1.5 million metric tons in 2012, said Andrey Bodin, chairman of Russia's Sugar Producers' Union.
The estimate stems from "significant growth of carryover sugar stocks on higher seasonal domestic sugar output, if weather is favorable and lets us produce targeted sugar volume," he told Bloomberg News by phone today.
Russia's domestic sugar production from beets will climb to between 4 million and 4.2 million tons this year from 2.7 million tons in 2010, Bodin said. Output will rise as the area sown with beets expands by 10 percent from last year to 1.25 million hectares (3.1 million acres) and improved weather stokes yields, he said.
The country experienced its worst drought in at least half a century last year. Dry weather affected 17 of Russia's 22 beet-growing regions, according to Bodin.
Sugar output this year will come to 550,000 tons in Belarus and 30,000 tons in Kazakhstan, he said.
Russian carryover sugar inventories will total between 3.4 million and 3.5 million tons in 2012, while consumption this year will be 5.4 million tons, Bodin said. He predicted raw- sugar imports this year of about 2.2 million tons for Russia and 400,000 tons each for Belarus and Kazakhstan.