The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to pressure overall sugar use in countries and regions that have set self-isolation measures, curfews, and lockdowns. Sugar trader Czarnikow cut its estimate for global sugar consumption by nearly 2 MMT on Monday. Demand reductions of as much as 5 percent were suggested for China, Germany, France, Italy, and South Korea.
Overall consumption is now predicted to stay flat year-over-year at 172.4 MMT.
In the U.S., alcohol, soft drink, and sugary food consumption will likely take a hit with major cities limiting or halting operation of bars and restaurants. Even McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are halting in-store dining for the next few weeks. However, foodservice sales of sugary items like bread and canned goods have surged in the near term as people stock up their pantries.
Where does it all net out? We may not know for a few weeks, but certainly something to monitor.