Work Programme

Year 2018 Draft MECAS Work Program

Introduction

The Executive Director proposes to conduct a program of work for the Market Evaluation, Consumption and Statistics Committee (MECAS) as presented in this document for the year 2018.[1] The MECAS program is undertaken in addition to the Secretariat’s substantial regular commitments (see Annex 1 and 2).


There are six key components to MECAS activities, including:

· The Quarterly Market Outlook;

· The Monthly Market Report;

· ISO studies;

· ISO Sugar Yearbook;

· World Sugar Balances;

· ISO Ethanol Yearbook; and

· On-going monitoring of specific issues.

Activities proposed during 2018 for each of these components are presented below.


Quarterly Market Outlook

The Quarterly Market Outlook (one issue each quarter) provides analysis of recent and expected trends, developments and issues in the world sugar, alternative sweeteners, and molasses markets, as well as in the sugar-crop based renewable energy markets (fuel ethanol, cogeneration). Recent developments in the bioplastics/biochemicals field are analysed and updates and commentary on the WTO negotiations on Agriculture and on Regional Trade Agreements are also provided. Each issue provides timely analysis and review of:


  • World sugar and fuel ethanol price behaviour;
  • Currency movements and domestic prices for sugar and ethanol;
  • National sugar policy developments (twice yearly);
  • Trade developments;
  • The world sugar balance including individual estimates for 160 countries;
  • White and raw sugar trade balances;
  • Consumption, production and trade in ethanol, developments in national fuel ethanol programs, as well as ethanol feedstock price developments;
  • Consumption, production, trade and stocks of sugar, alternative sweeteners and their feedstocks and molasses;
  • In-depth analysis of the most focal issues (Special Focus section);
  • The price dynamics of other commodity markets;
  • Bioplastics and Biochemicals
  • Cogeneration; 
  • The WTO Negotiations on Agriculture and Regional Trade Agreements.

The content of the Quarterly Market Outlook will be a focus of attention at the twice yearly MECAS Meetings, along with the ISO studies.


Monthly Market Report

 The Monthly Market Report provides market information for the previous month covering all the important sugar and ethanol market developments during the previous month (including information on world sugar market – conditions & prospects, country summaries, new sugar production projects, fuel ethanol in key players, alternative sweeteners & other uses of sugar or sugar cane & beet, bioplastics and biochemicals, cogeneration, WTO and regional trade agreements, as well as ISO news).


ISO Studies

The ISO Secretariat has adopted the target of preparing six studies in 2018, consistent with our expected resource level (as discussed later).

Selection of Studies

ISO studies are prepared to meet two key outcomes crucial to the achievement of our strategic direction:

  • Members benefit from improved transparency in world sugar trade; and
  • Members are fully informed about key drivers and emerging issues impacting the world sugar, sweeteners, renewable energy (fuel ethanol and cogeneration), bioplastics/biochemicals and related markets.

All of the proposed study topics for 2018 are consistent with the ISO’s Strategic Plan and with analysis presented in the ISO’s study: “Key Drivers of the World Sugar Economy” – MECAS (02)08.

ISO studies are aimed at providing members with objective, factual, professional and timely assessments of developments relating to the key drivers impacting the global markets for sugar, sweeteners, fuel ethanol, sugarcane-based electricity generation, bioplastics/biochemicals and related commodities.

Each year the ISO Secretariat also consults with members in devising the priority listing of research topics, which for 2018 are given in Annex 3.

At each MECAS meeting, the studies to be undertaken from this list for the upcoming MECAS meeting will be discussed. This approach is taken because the sugar, sweeteners, and sugar-crop based renewable energy markets are dynamic and developments are often unforeseeable over the medium term. The approach also ensures that the ISO does not lock itself into research topics which may become no longer relevant.


ISO Sugar Yearbook

This yearbook provides comprehensive coverage of sugar production, consumption, trade and stocks for the whole world. About 350 pages, nearly 325 country tables. Individual countries tables show production, consumption and trade by countries of origin and destination for the last eight years. 18 world tables including raw and white sugar trade and per capita consumption. The most complete, authoritative and up to date source of world sugar statistics available.


ISO Ethanol Yearbook

The Ethanol Yearbook offers around 100 pages of both comprehensive statistics and in-depth analysis of the world fuel ethanol market. The Yearbook includes data on world fuel ethanol production, consumption and trade as well as individual national balances with data series on production, import, export, consumption, stocks and prices for key countries. Detailed statistics also contain historical data on the share of sugar cane/beet allocation to ethanol, ethanol content by tonne of cane, types of fuel ethanol produced, sugar cane/beet pricing, ethanol/ gasoline blending ratio, ethanol export revenues, ethanol vs. sugar realization as well as alternative ethanol feedstock statistics for leading fuel ethanol producers.


On-going monitoring of specific issues

The ISO also maintains a watching brief on specific issues on an on-going basis, reporting relevant information to members as they arise, and as resources allow, including:

(a) Sugar, Human Health and Nutrition

  • To survey, review and disseminate information evaluating the nutritional and health aspects of sugar, with a view to reducing public prejudice against sugar, facilitating promotion of consumption.
  • To disseminate information regarding proposed and announced sugar taxes and other fiscal and policy measures against sugar.
  • To provide members with up-to-date information in conjunction with relevant WHO activities.
  • To provide members with worldwide trends in per capita sugar consumption in the context of calorie intake and health issues.

(b) Sugar and the Environment

  • To monitor environmental issues and their possible impacts on the sugar industries of member countries.

(c) Standardisation and Certification

  • To monitor and review sugar as well as beet and cane derived products certified to have been produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.


Resource Availability and Requirements

Professional staff time available including the three economists during 2018 is 138 weeks – as shown in the table below. Of this total, 32 weeks are anticipated to be required to effectively execute regular non-MECAS activities (see below together with annex 1 for a description of these activities). At 106 weeks, human resources available for MECAS activities in 2018 are the same as in previous years.


Activity
Person Weeks
MECAS

106

Quarterly Market Outlook

31

Monthly Market Report

6

ISO Studies

46

On-going monitoring

3

ISO Sugar Year Book

10

ISO Ethanol Year Book

10



Other Commitments and Activities

32

TOTAL

138


Annex 1  Regular Commitments 2018

Activity
 
Objective
 
Output
 
Timing of Release
 
Sugar Statistics
To compile exhaustive, accurate statistics on key economic variables in the world sugar economy and to disseminate such data on a timely basis.
ISO Sugar Year Book.
Monthly Statistical Bulletin.
August (online)
September (hard copy)
Around the 5th day of each month (statistics relating to the previous month)
Sugar Market Monitoring and Analysis
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of economic developments and trends in the world sugar trade, and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November.
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Ethanol market and national fuel ethanol programs monitoring and analysis
To conduct timely, objective, and relevant analyses of trends and developments in ethanol production, consumption, trade and national support policy, and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Ethanol Statistics
and Outlook
To compile exhaustive, accurate statistics on key economic variables in the world ethanol economy.
To provide a written assessment of the outlook for ethanol production, consumption over the coming decade.
To disseminate such data and analysis on a timely basis.
ISO Ethanol Year Book.
September
Analysis of related issues and markets
To conduct timely and relevant analysis of currency moments, domestic prices, related markets and commodities and to widely disseminate this information
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Alternative Sweeteners & By-products monitoring and analysis
- High Fructose Corn Sweetener
- Intensive Sweeteners
- Molasses
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of economic developments and trends in the world markets for alternative sweeteners and molasses, and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Bioplastics/biochemicals and cogeneration
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of the developments and trends in the bioplastics/biochemicals and cogeneration sectors world-wide, and to widely disseminate this information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
February, May, August, November
In-depth analysis of focal market issues
To provide a thorough assessment of key evolving economic drivers in the sugar/ethanol markets not covered by the ISO MECAS studies.
Quarterly Market Outlook: Special Focus
February, May, August, November
WTO/RTA/FTA monitoring and analysis
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of the WTO negotiations on agriculture and progress of Regional Trade Agreements and Free Trade Agreements and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report.
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
ISO Seminar and Workshop
To conduct a seminar and workshop each year addressing relevant and important issues in the world sugar trade and related matters.
ISO Seminar and proceedings.
ISO Workshop and proceedings.
November (online)
May (online)
MECAS Meetings
To provide new economic information about global markets for sugar, sweeteners, fuel ethanol and bagasse based electricity generation as well as emerging diversification opportunities such as bioplastics and biochemical.
MECAS Meetings and MECAS Papers.
May/June and November/December, in conjunction with International Sugar Council Sessions


Other Activities for 2018

Activity
 
Objective
 
Output
 
Timing
 
Database maintenance/enhancement
To ensure software and programming support for the efficient collation of statistics and the production of publication-ready tables.
Contributes to production of ISO Year books and Monthly Statistical Bulletin.
As required.
Joint Events:
Planning, organisation and execution.
To prominently position the ISO and increase its visibility.
To strengthen the ISO’s image and reputation as the worldwide recognised centre of excellence
As required.
Preparation of papers/speeches for major international fora
Constructive participation and contributions to world sugar and ethanol related fora.
Wide dissemination of ISO studies and statistics.
ISO papers and speeches.
As required/invited.
General matters, administration, information requests
To ensure efficient and effective operation of the ISO Secretariat and the ISA’92.
Meet provisions of the ISA’92.
As required.


Annex 2: Summary of Planned Publications: 2018

Publication
 
J
 
F
 
M
 
A
 
M
 
J
 
J
 
A
 
S
 
O
 
N
 
D
ISO Sugar Year Book 2018








·



ISO Ethanol Year Book 2018








·



Monthly Market Report
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
Quarterly Market Outlook

·


·


·


·

World Sugar Balances

·


·


·


·

Statistical Bulletin
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
Workshop Proceedings 2018





·






Seminar Proceedings 2018











·
ISO study 1



·








ISO study 2



·








ISO study 3



·








ISO study 4










·

ISO study 5










·

ISO study 6










·

ISO Work Program: 2019









·



Annex 3: Proposed Topics for ISO Studies in 2018.

Project Number

Title

Objective

Explanatory Notes

Minimum Person Weeks

2018/1
Prospects for Brazil’s Sugar and Ethanol Industry
To provide an outlook for the Brazilian sugar/ethanol industry in the coming decade by analyzing recent developments in the sector, main drivers impacting competitiveness, production and consumption, as well as projections on sugar/ethanol exports over the next ten years.
The last time the ISO specifically addressed Brazil’s sugar and ethanol industry was in 2012.

8

2018/2
Sugar in an Evolving Trade Pact Landscape
 
To evaluate the potential for sugar related developments within major multilateral, bilateral, regional and sub-regional trade agreements that impact the world sugar market.
The ISO has not attempted to take a snap shot of sugar within key trade pacts since 2001 – MECAS(01)20: NAFTA and Other Latin American Trade Blocs: recent developments impacting sugar.

8

2018/3
Profiling the African Sugar Market and Future Trade Landscape
To assess the potential for increased intra-African sugar trade in the context of major economic & commercial developments.
With reform of EU sugar policy, surplus sugar producers in Africa are now looking for remunerative alternative markets within Africa, typically in the context of existing regional trade agreements, but also in the context of negotiations for new and broader free trade agreements. Many African markets are in deficit and demand for sugar is growing, so in order to understand the potential for increased intra-Africa sugar trade there is a need to:
(i) Assess the structure and potential of the sugar industry in key countries and in the key sub-regions;
(ii) Assess the structure of current intra-regional sugar trade.
(iii) Assess the potential of intra-regional sugar trade at a regional and continental level.
This study would update and expand the ISO’s previous MECAS study on the outlook for Sub-Sahara’s Sugar Industry, conducted in 2013.

8

2018/4
Sugar & the Sustainable Development Goals
To review the sugar industry’s contribution towards the achievement of key Sustainable Development Goals by identifying commercial actions and sustainable strategies driving change throughout the supply chain.
In 2015, countries adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. There are specific targets in each of these goals to be achieved over the next 13 years. The sugar sector has the potential to positively influence several key SDGs – but what are the key issues and opportunities facing the industry?

7

2018/5
Recent Trends in Seasonality of World Supply and Demand for Sugar
To analyze recent changes in the seasonality of world sugar supply and demand, and to prepare a proper database for forecasting all elements of the world sugar balance on a quarterly basis.
The strict October/September basis for the ISO world sugar balance projections may not reflect important developments within any given crop year, particularly for countries with crop cycles significantly different from the October/September year (e.g. Brazil, Southern Africa, Australia). The new study will be a preparatory paper which will allow the introduction of quarterly world sugar balances as a permanent feature of the QMO.

8

2018/6
Prospects for Pakistan’s Sugar Industry
To review recent developments and drivers of the country’s sugar market and to prepare projections of production, consumption and trade for sugar to the year 2025.
In 2016/17 Pakistan became the world’s fifth largest cane sugar producer and output has surged even higher in 2017/18. Production has exceeded consumption in most years over the past decade.
This would be the ISO’s first attempt to analyze the sugar situation in Pakistan. With a growing surplus the industry is looking to become a significant exporter to the Asian deficit countries, with potential considerable knock-on effects for existing suppliers.

7


[1] Article 33 of the 1992 International Sugar Agreement establishes MECAS. Paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 33 outline the scope of the work to be undertaken by the Committee, while paragraph 4 states that the Council shall consider each year a draft forward work programme.