With delivery data for two months under COVID-19, March and April, USDA lowered 2019/20 sugar deliveries for food use by 75,000 STRV in the June WASDE.
After huge April imports because of the quota increases, USDA is placing YTD deliveries for food use by non-reporters at 702,745 STRV. For 2018/19, these totaled 759,550 STRV.
It is challenging to extrapolate from current, COVID-19-impacted delivery numbers to forecast 2019/20 demand. While many large industrial users that produce essential retail products are doing well, many others that produce for food service and restaurants are struggling, such as beverage and confections.
Confectionery and beverage sugar deliveries from reporters are off 83,734 STRV and 44,638 STRV, respectively. Imports for beverages manufacturers could make up for a lot of this as they mostly take liquid products, but it is hard to believe confectionery could be taking a lot of direct imports as most large industrial users receive bulk sugar, which is rarely from direct import due to logistics hurdles, etc.
Economic activity, unemployment, delivery figures, and the continuing pandemic all support the lower consumption estimate, and despite more regions of the country starting to open back up, USDA may have a little more lowering to do in the future.
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