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Glut of Indian Sugar Hits London Exchange After Expiry

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November 15th, 2018

A glut of sugar from India, the world’s second-largest producer, has hit the London exchange as traders sold the sweetener to settle the expiration of December futures.

ED&F Man Holdings Ltd. took delivery of about 350,000 metric tons of white sugar, with Singapore-based trader Wilmar International Ltd. selling the majority, said people familiar with the process, who asked not to be identified because the deals are private. The bulk of the sugar -- which was also delivered by Tereos, Agrocorp and at least one other company-- will come from India, according to the people and ICE Futures Europe data.

India produced a record 32.4 million tons of sugar last season, helping send the global surplus to an all-time high. While output in the season that started Oct. 1 will probably fall amid lower yields and a white-grub infestation, it will still be one of the biggest harvests on record.

"There had been some conjecture whether Indian sugars would be delivered," ADM Investor Services International said in a report. "At least the question has now been answered. Assuming no delivery problems it would suggest further deliveries against the tape will be likely next year."

Sugar futures slumped 16 percent this year in New York as bumper crops meant another year of excess supplies. December futures expired at $328.20 a ton on ICE Futures Europe.

Millers in India struck deals to export 835,000 tons this season, more than the total exports from the previous year, Praful Vithalani, owner of a major trader and chairman of the All India Sugar Trade Association, said earlier this month. Shipments could climb to as high as 5 million tons.

The delivery is "proof that at least 300,000 tons of refined is going to be exported from India in December and January," said Robin Shaw, an analyst at London-based futures and options brokerage Marex Spectron Group.

 - By Isis Almeida Bloomberg.

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