23rd Feb, 2006
Sugar prices are moving up after 25 years. Will history repeat itself?
The last time the prices were at current levels was in 1980. Actually, Sugar has only traded at such levels twice since 1965. The first time was in 1974-75, when there was a rally from under 12 cents/lb to 66 cents/lb in a matter of 10 months. The second time was in 1979-80, when it was a participant in a global commodities rally. That time also, the rally took off from 12 cents/lb but it topped out at 45.75 cents/lb, again in a matter of 10 months.
However, the point to note here is that, there was a sharp collapse in the prices on both occasions. In 1975-76 there was a fall back to 12 cents/lb in 8 months after the top. Similarly, the rally of 1979-80 also busted and there was a fall back to 12 cents/lb in the next 11 months. That rally also ended where it had started. In fact there was a continuation of the slide and there was a fall to 3 cents/lb by 1985.
This time, Sugar prices crossed the 12 cents/lb level in Dec 05 and are currently trading near 18 cents/lb.