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Invest in Sugar Commodities: Such a Sweet Move!

Latin American countries dominate the sugar trade; Brazil is the largest sugar producer in the world. In 2009, the top ten sugar producers accounted for 74 percent of global production.

Country Sugar Production (Millions of Tons)
Brazil 36
E.U. 18
India 17
China 13
Thailand 8
United States 7
South Africa 6
Mexico 5
Australia 4.5
Russia 4

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

If you’re interested in investing in sugar, the ICE offers two futures contracts that track the price of sugar: Sugar #11 (world production) and sugar #14 (U.S. production). Consider the contract specs for these two sugar contracts:

  • Sugar #11 (World)

    • Contract ticker symbol: SB

    • Contract size: 112,000 pounds

    • Underlying commodity: Global sugar

    • Price fluctuation: $0.01 per pound ($11.20 per contract)

    • Trading months: March, May, July, and October

  • Sugar #14 (USA)

    • Contract ticker symbol: SE

    • Contract size: 112,000 pounds

    • Underlying commodity: Domestic (U.S.) sugar

    • Price fluctuation: $0.01 per pound ($11.20 per contract)

    • Trading months: January, March, May, July, September, and November

On a historical basis, sugar #14 produced in the United States tends to be more expensive than sugar #11. However, sugar #11 accounts for most of the volume in the ICE sugar market.

Price of sugar futures on the ICE, 2000–2010.
Price of sugar futures on the ICE, 2000–2010.
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