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China's output of sucrose may reach 12 million tonnes

According to Mr. Ma, Vice Chairman of the China Sugar Association (CSA), China's output of sucrose may reach 12 million tonnes in the extraction season of 2011/2012 (from October 2011 to April 2012), which may slow down the fast development of starch sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and glucose, according to CCM’s December issue of Sweeteners China News.

On 1 November, China's Production and Sales Meeting of Sucrose in Extraction Season of 2011/2012 was held in Haikou City, Hainan Province. In accordance with the meeting, the continuous diminished output of sucrose in recent three years is likely to be ended, and the output of sucrose may increase by about 14.83% in extraction season of 2011/2012 over that in 2010/2011. However, the expected increase in sucrose supply may slow down the fast development of starch sugar through reducing the replacement demand for starch sugar.

Compared with other sweeteners such as high intensity sweeteners and functional oligosaccharides, the sweetness, properties and application ranges of starch sugar are much closer to those of sucrose. And domestic starch sugar industry is benefited from the inadequate supply and price increase of sucrose; thus the improvement in sucrose industry can impact the starch sugar industry obviously.

The demand growth of starch sugar may decrease due to the increase in sucrose supply in 2012. In recent three years, inadequate sucrose supply in the past three extraction seasons of sucrose has given a boost to starch sugar's development. For example, both the outputs of sucrose in the extraction seasons of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 were four million tonnes less than the sucrose consumption (TABLE), which has offered more potential market shares to other sweeteners, especially starch sugar. Meanwhile, starch sugar has developed well since 2009. For instance, the total output of starch sugar is expected to reach about 10 million tonnes in 2011 with a yearly growth rate of 8.7%. According to the CSA, the consumption of sucrose may continue to be about 14 million tonnes in 2012, in consideration of which, the replacement demand for starch sugar may reduce in 2012 due to the output increase of sucrose, which may reduce the total demand growth of starch sugar in 2012.

Besides, the increase in sucrose supply may further drive down the sucrose price, which may influence the gross margin of starch sugar producers. Caused by an inadequate sucrose supply, sucrose price has mainly shown a rising trend from October 2008 to August 2011. Chinese government has released sucrose stock for eight times with a total volume of 1.66 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2011, aided by which, the sucrose price has begun to decrease since August 2011. The increase in sucrose supply in the extraction season of 2011/2012 may further impel the sucrose price decrease in 2012, which may weaken the main advantage of starch sugar—competitive price—and suppress the price of starch sugar in 2012. In fact, though prices of starch sugar's raw materials—corn and corn starch—have deceased in recent few months due to the corn harvest, it is estimated that they may increase again in 2012. Therefore, the gross margin of starch sugar may decrease in the future.

Starch sugar producers admit the influence of the expected sucrose supply, but they also believe that the starch sugar industry will develop in 2012. For example, a sales manager of Zhucheng Dongxiao Biotechnology Co., Ltd., one main glucose producer with capacity of 300,000t/a, expressed that the demand for starch sugar will increase in 2012 thanks to its lower price than sucrose, but its growth rate may be lower than that of 2011 due to the increase in sucrose supply. In general, the starch sugar industry will keep on developing in 2012, but the speed may be slower.
Source: Sweeteners China News 1112

by S. C.
14 december 2011, World News > Asia

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