We see sugar prices in international market firming up
Vivek Saraogi, MD, Balrampur Chini Mills
Oct 12, 2018 | Source: Mint
On the international sugar prices, if this is the start of a troughing out of sugar prices and we could see them climbing. International sugar prices I think are rising for three or four reasons. One, the Brazil expectation of their crop is much lower, 8 million I think. Plus, very importantly, the crude parity pricing for ethanol is closer to 15 cents, which means if you shift, Brazil has a 50-50 chance of making sugar or ethanol from the juice. So, if you make ethanol, the parity of that translated to sugar is about 15 cents. The European Union is down, Russia is down, Thailand is down. India I think will be lower than people’s expectation. So, yes, I remain buoyant on the international markets.
On the current domestic price and the impact of trend over the next few months realisations. As we speak, the price for Uttar Pradesh millers is close to ₹33 ex-factory. As we move ahead, the government has mandated exports and it has given Minimum Indicative Export Quotas (MIEQ)—the quota that totals to about 5 million tonne. The difference of the loss that the government has declared with the current international price and rupee-dollar, would be good enough for millers to export. So actually I do see these exports happening because the money you are going to lose is what you are going to get from the government. So, if that goes out, then we would not be left with any surplus this season.
On the domestic sugar price trajectory. If you are not adding to inventory this year and you have this ethanol programme going, this B-heavy programme and juice programme, we would get to know in the next one week how much of bids have come into that. My guess is maybe 5 lakh tonne or half a million tonne gets sacrificed this season and from next year, because of new distilleries coming up, even we are putting up one, easily 1 million plus can go every year. So with this and if this season is lower than last year’s production, next season would be lower. So I remain optimistic on the pricing.
On the bullishness in global sugar prices and its impact on domestic prices. I have just laid out the construct why I expect global prices to be firm. After recent elections in Brazil, the real has also appreciated. That is another tailwind for the global prices I guess. I remain optimistic on global prices.
On the hike in ethanol prices to be a big boost for the sector as a whole, thoughts on the kind of revenues that is expected for the full year from the ethanol business. I do not have the figures, but this year we will be supplying about maybe 10 crore liters and as I told you last year, the new distillery would get commissioned by 31 December 2019. The business is looking a lot better. I am now not looking at a V-shaped recovery.
On the V-shaped recovery, If something like close to 800 crore this year in EBITDA can be achieved. I am not going to figures, we do not give figures. Second, the V-shaped recovery is when you enter into a shortage era.