Price Assessment

The price of Brazilian VHP Sugar

  • What is Brazilian VHP Sugar?
  • How do we assess Brazilian sugar?
  • Evolution of Brazilian sugar market

What is Brazilian VHP Sugar?

Brazilian VHP Sugar is one of the most sought-after raw sugar exports in the world. The VHP stands for Very High Polarization, and its specifications are typically for polarization between 99° to 99.49°. It is produced by millers from sugarcane grown in Brazil's sugar heartlands in the Center-South and North Northeast regions.

VHP sugar has high sucrose content and its light brown sugar crystals are simpler to refine into white sugar than other raw sugars. Destinations for Brazilian VHP sugar include the Middle East, North Africa, Indonesia, and China, to name but a few.

Over the past five years, Brazil has produced an average of 33 million tons of sugar each year, or almost 20% of total global volumes. Its annual exports of raw sugar have averaged almost 22 million tons.

S&P Global Commodity Insights publishes two Platts VHP assessments covering the Center-South and North Northeast regions. Platts Brazil VHP CS sugar is for prompt shipments on a FOB basis from Santos, the sugar capital of Brazil's Center-South. The region produces most of Brazil's raw sugar, with an active market for spot trading all-year round. Platts Brazil VHP NNE is the other raw sugar assessment, and is basis FOB Maceio.

S&P Global Commodity Insights publishes a range of other raw and white sugar assessments tailored to specific markets in Brazil, Thailand and Europe that are used by the industry to manage risk in an integral agricultural market.

How do we assess Brazilian sugar?

Platts Brazilian sugar assessments from S&P Global Commodity Insights are based on robust and transparent market data that includes, but is not limited, to firm bids and offers, expressions of interest to trade and confirmed trades reported across the trading day.

The two Brazil VHP sugar assessments are assessed in US cents per pound (c/lb) and reflect the tradable and repeatable spot market value at 1630 London time. The assessments are published as premiums to the front-month ICE Sugar No. 11 Futures (New York #11), and as an outright price. Platts Brazil VHP assessments do not include a polarization premium.

S&P Global Commodity Insights gathers price data from a wide segment of the market, including sugar producers, traders, brokers, and consumers.

Data collected by S&P Global Commodity Insights is published in full on our real time service Platts Agriculture Alert and is summarized in our daily publication Kingsman Daily Sugar Report.

S&P Global Commodity Insights publishes six unique assessments for Brazilian sugar: two are for raw sugar, the main type of sugar produced in Brazil, and four for white sugar, which is produced in smaller quantities and is mainly used locally, with the surplus exported.

Evolution of Brazilian sugar market

S&P Global Commodity Insights acquired Kingsman in October 2012 to help boost their product offerings in the Agriculture markets, and Kingsman have been publishing premiums for the European sugar market for more than 20 years.

Some of the earliest daily reports written by Kingsman's eponymous founder, Jonathan Kingsman, contained bids, offers and trades heard in the marketplace.

The portfolio of prices has since then expanded to provide a range of assessments on both a premium and flat price basis to the Sugar No. 11 Futures (New York #11) contract.

We continuously work with key industry stakeholders to ensure that our price assessments evolve in step with changing market conditions. S&P Global Commodity Insights regularly holds methodology forums, webinars and one-to-one meetings to exchange views on the future of sugar both in this region and globally.