By Stephen Morris
Sugar consumption in the customs union made up of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will be about 6.4 million metric tons in 2011, Andrei Bodin, chairman of the Russian Sugar Producers' Union, said at a conference in London.
Production of sugar beets in the three countries will be about 4.7 million tons, Bodin said during a presentation to the International Sugar Organization. Warm, dry weather reduced yields to 10 tons a hectare (2.47 acres) in some areas this year, as Russia suffered its worst drought in a half century.
Better weather may result in "much bigger" yields in 2011, Bodin said, adding that sugar production may gain to 5 million tons by 2013.
The customs union's stocks may be 2.5 million tons this year and rise to 3.2 million tons by the end of 2011, Bodin said.