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SUGAR ONE-YEAR SEASONAL PATTERN
5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
25-Year Pattern
5-Year Pattern
Based on near-term futures contract daily data 1985–2009
SUGAR NEAR-TERM CONTRACT ANNUAL HIGHS, LOWS, AND CLOSES SINCE 1975
HIGH LOW YEAR HIGH LOW YEAR
YEAR DATE CLOSE DATE CLOSE CLOSE YEAR DATE CLOSE DATE CLOSE CLOSE
1975 01/03 45.60 06/25 11.54 14.40 1993 05/14 13.19 02/02 8.04 10.77
1976 05/07 15.74 12/27 7.65 8.04 1994 12/30 15.17 01/19 10.28 15.17
1977 04/22 10.95 07/12 7.12 9.40 1995 01/06 15.74 07/14 9.69 11.60
1978 10/30 9.75 07/25 6.01 8.43 1996 02/16 12.66 12/03 10.27 11.00
1979 12/26 16.98 04/20 7.64 16.31 1997 12/01 12.49 01/23 10.15 12.22
1980 11/05 45.64 01/03 15.37 30.58 1998 01/05 12.02 09/18 6.67 7.86
1981 01/06 33.78 09/17 10.76 13.18 1999 01/07 8.80 04/28 4.08 6.12
1982 01/27 13.99 09/15 5.99 6.85 2000 10/16 11.39 02/28 4.88 10.20
1983 05/31 13.36 01/12 6.10 8.18 2001 01/08 10.47 10/09 6.15 7.39
1984 01/12 8.15 09/17 3.80 4.16 2002 01/09 8.03 06/28 4.96 7.61
1985 12/05 6.51 06/20 2.70 5.62 2003 02/20 9.07 12/31 5.67 5.67
1986 04/07 9.39 09/19 4.81 6.16 2004 10/12 9.32 02/09 5.36 9.04
1987 12/31 9.49 08/28 5.60 9.49 2005 12/29 14.79 04/15 8.08 14.68
1988 07/19 15.30 02/26 7.74 11.15 2006 02/03 19.30 09/25 10.87 11.75
1989 11/17 15.36 01/24 9.40 13.16 2007 01/03 11.51 06/13 8.45 10.82
1990 03/16 16.13 10/15 9.13 9.37 2008 03/03 14.91 06/04 9.52 11.81
1991 06/19 9.97 05/10 7.63 9.00 2009 12/28 27.26 01/14 11.43 26.95
1992 06/17 11.05 02/11 7.88 8.41 2010* 01/29 29.90 04/28 14.86
AT PRESS TIME
*Through April 30, 2010
SUGAR CYCLE, SEASONAL PATTERN, AND TRADING GUIDE
Sugar prices are not only affected by beet and cane supply, but also by domestic and
international demand for its by-products, like molasses, methanol, and ethanol. It is a highly
regulated industry; thus, many countries, such as the United States, that impose trade barriers,
including production quotas, guaranteed prices, and import tariffs, impart a significant degree
of distortion to international prices. The relatively longer plantation cycle, combined with
restrictive trade practices, has in the past been the catalyst for the volatility in sugar prices.
In India, sugar production follows a three- to five-year cycle. Higher production leads to
increased availability of sugar, thereby reducing the sugar prices. This leads to lower
profitability for the companies and delayed payment to the farmers. As a result of higher
sugarcane arrears, the farmers switch to other crops, thereby leading to a fall in the area under
cultivation for sugar. This then leads to lower production and lower sugar availability, followed
by higher sugar prices, higher profitability, and lower arrears; and, thus, the cycle continues.
Because of the many areas around the globe that produce sugar, it does have many seasonal
price swings. Overall, it tends to bottom in June and peak in November prior to the Northern
Hemisphere harvest of both cane and sugar beet production.
c02_CTA_2011_pgs_120-182_c02_CTA_2011_pgs_120-182 7/19/10 10:45 PM Page 173

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