SINGAPORE: Thai raw sugar premiums were mostly steady this week, with a few cargoes sold among trading houses in Asia, while Pakistan was eager to sell more whites at discounts to London futures, dealers said on Tuesday.
Pakistan has allowed the export of 200,000 tonnes of sugar on top of the 300,000 tonnes previously permitted, as it aims to trim surplus stocks and lift local prices.
“There have been trades (of Pakistani sugar) done in a range of $545 to $560. Now, they are quoting a mininum price of $560. They are saying there's demand and that Afghanistan is paying more,” said a dealer in Singapore.
“I also heard that India is buying Pakistani whites maybe because they're cheaper. But FOB prices in India have gone down to $640 from $680 last week.”
India, the world's largest sugar consumer, has allowed millers to sell 4 million tonnes of non-levy sugar in October and November, higher than the average monthly allocation of around 1.7 million tonnes as it heads into the peak festive season.
Thai white sugar for delivery next year was more expensive than sweetener from India and Pakistan at $20 premiums over London's March contract, which ended down $4.3 a tonne at $582.1 on Monday. The next Thai crushing season is due to start in October or November and exports could fall about 4 per cent to 7.7 million tonnes in the 2012/13 season because of insufficient rain.
High polarisation, or hipol, Thai raws, were quoted at between 70 and 80 points to New York's March contract, hardly changed from last week, but dealers expected demand from Indonesia to lift values despite the approaching crushing season.
“Pakistan sugar is coming out, but the quality is always inconsistent. A food producer in Indonesia has bought about 13,000 of refined sugar from Thailand recently,” said another dealer in Singapore.
“Raw sugar has been traded here and there. Some has been sold to Malaysia but it can be either Thai or Brazilian raws.There are still a few millers in Indonesia shopping for sugar,” said the dealer who quoted Thai premiums at up to 75 points.
The J-spec variety, or low quality raw sugar favoured by Japanese buyers, was unchanged at 75 points premiums to New York's March contract.
Demand for the Thai new crop could keep raw premiums at current levels next week, but the value could also rise if New York futures extend losses.
Premiums and futures move in opposite directions.