Coronavirus and Sugar Consumption

March 20, 2020


White sugar cubes in a pile

The global sugar market has undergone many fluctuations and changes over the past few weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. One area that we think has significantly changed is global sugar consumption. Our expert Market Analysis team has broken down some of the changes below:

  • We have reduced our global sugar consumption estimate by nearly 2m tonnes this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • This means overall sugar consumption will now barely increase this year. 
  • We expect sugar consumption per capita to fall in 2020. 

Consumption is Decreasing

  • We have reduced our 2020 sugar consumption estimate by 5% in the following countries, which have imposed isolation or lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Countries in Lockdown with an Estimated 5% Consumption Decrease

  • This is due to the collapse in out-of-home food and drink consumption, and the difficulties faced in operating normal supply chains. 
  • The 5% reductions are a best-guess at this stage and are not wholly scientific. 
  • Further modifications may be required as we learn more information. 
  • We are likely to extend these reductions to other countries if/when they increase their isolation measures. 

Global Consumption Growth is Below Population Growth

  • This means overall consumption in the 2019/20 season will hardly increase. 
  • Before the coronavirus outbreak, we thought consumption would increase by 1% this year! 
  • At this early stage we are forecasting a rebound in consumption next year once the world reverts to normal. We will also keep this under review. 

Global Sugar Consumption Not Increasing in 2019/2020

  • Despite the reduction in consumption, sugar production in the 2019/20 season will still fall short of consumption by around 10m tonnes.

19/20: Still a Large Deficit

  • You can stay up-to-date with all these changes using the Balance Sheet Changes page in the Interactive Data Section on Czapp.
  • We will continue to report on market changes during this time.

Author: Ben Seed, Analyst

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