2018 Sweetener Colloquium Takeaways

Whether or not you attended this year’s colloquium, there were three main questions circling around everyone’s’ minds.  “Is NAFTA likely to get renewed?” “Can Mexico deliver raw sugar at the correct polarity and on time?” “Are the USDA’s demand numbers correct?”

The short answer is likely YES, YES and YES. But what does all of this mean for 2018 and beyond?

“Beets are extremely well sold with the bulk basis FOB being at around $0.36-$0.38 for 2018,” said Bill Holtgrieve, category manager for sugar at International Food Products.

The price of cane is very similar coming in at around $0.36-$0.38.5. The reason for this is that the gap between people choosing to buy non-GMO over GMO is decreasing. “So if you’re looking to purchase this year, expect numbers to say around the above with little chance of decreasing more than a few cents.” 

Looking ahead to 2019, Holtgrieve expects beet sugar prices to discount slightly at or around $0.34 bulk basis, almost a $0.10 move from 2017.  The reason for beets choosing the $0.34 starting point is because they are matching the amount that Mexican sugar is selling for. Cane won’t be selling at beet levels because they are even now trying to run at the minimum levels and likely won’t lower prices.

“There are very few manufacturers who have secured sugar for 2019,” said Holtgrieve stating that the price will have to fall for them to start booking. “However I don’t see a reason for prices to drop, especially since 2017 surplus was completely used up. It’s going to be a cat and mouse game and someone is going to have to start the buying process.” 


Bill Holtgrieve brings more than three decades of experience of buying and selling to his role as Sugar Category Manager. He has served International Food Products for his entire career, including 17 years as its president. Bill manages the risk and overall sugar position for the company with a focus on providing the best information on sugar to International Food Products’ customers.

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