Green Pool raises 2019/20 global sugar deficit forecast

A hand-rickshaw puller waits for customers at a roadside wholesale sugarcane market in Kolkata

LONDON (Reuters) - Analyst Green Pool has raised its forecast for an anticipated global sugar deficit in the 2019/20 season to 3.67 million tonnes, raw value, from a previous projection of 1.62 million.

The Australia-based analyst said on Friday that the main changes to its balance sheet were reductions in crop forecasts for Centre-South Brazil and India.

Sugar production in the Centre-South region of Brazil was projected at 25.8 million tonnes, tel quel, down from a previous forecast of 26.8 million.

"Add to that the reduction in India’s crop prospects, dry conditions in Thailand, the EU, Australia and Mexico, and suddenly there are a number of negative factors for global sugar production prospects," Green Pool said.

India's 2019/20 crop was cut to 28.3 million tonnes from 29.5 million, tel quel.

"The market is only slowly working its way through very large stocks, and a small-ish deficit for 19/20 – while a step in the right direction from a producers' perspective – probably needs to be larger to cause prices to move back to longer-term average levels," the analyst said.

Green Pool estimated there was a global surplus of 18.87 million tonnes, raw value, in 2017/18 and 3.75 million tonnes in 2018/19.

(Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)