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What is ICUMSA 45 and Why is it so Heavily Traded?

Learn what ICUMSA 45 is and why it is one of the most heavily traded agricultural commodities in the world!
Kassandra Bureau
Commodity Risk Assessor

Knowing more about what you’re trying to trade is important, especially when you want to make some serious money. This article is going to touch on ICUMSA 45, as we’ll be talking about what it is, as well as why it’s so popular when it comes to trading; hopefully, by the end of this read, you’ll know everything there is about ICUMSA 45!

ICUMSA is an acronym that stands for “International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis), and it’s an organization that represents the NCSA to the entire world. They’re the only internationally known organization that is focused on the analytical process associated with the refining of sugar, as well as many other processes within the sugar industry in general.

Sometimes referred to as “IC45”, ICUMSA 45 is a worldwide organization that is focused on the analysis of sugar. They make the connection between the NCSA (National Committees for Sugar Analysis) and well over thirty other countries to ensure that their standards are met when it comes to analyzing sugars of all sorts. Whether it’s raw, cane, white, plantation white, beet, molasses, or any other kind of specialty sugar, the ICUMSA Methods Book offers up incredibly featured instructions covering how to effectively analyze sugars.

Those who are interested in trading ICUMSA 45 shouldn’t be doing so without the right tools and wisdom. You should only be using analytic methods that have been approved by ICUMSA, as it’s the only way to ensure that you’re meeting the Commissions’ requirements. The ICUMA rating system is used to show how pure a sugar compound is, and most of the time this will be a direct correlation of their colour.

There are several different types of ICUMA units, all of which will describe a different kind of sugar. When talking about Brazilian sugar, the lower the IC number, the whiter the sugar is going to be; but you have to remember that this isn’t the case in Europe.

Why Doesn’t Europe Use the Standard ICUMSA System for ICUMSA 45?

This is something that has been up for discussion for a while, as many individuals feel like the entire world should be using the ICUMA system to grade their sugar. It’s confusing because it allows Europe to consider lower grades of sugar a different number, causing a commotion and confusion throughout the globe! The SGS of Sao Paulo had recently released information that specified the ICUMSA numbers for European products that follow the same standards for the Brazilian counterpart, stating that the highest rating of ICUMSA was 45, and the lower quality ones would follow suit (with SEC sugar falling into the ICUMA 150 range).

While you would think this clears things up, the same publication also stated the ICUMSA 46 was the highest grade possible in Europe (raw sugar was ICUMSA 42). Some regions outside of Brazil will also invert the scale completely, considering the higher ICUMSA counts to be the highest quality sugar possible. The only real way to figure out the best approach when it comes to identifying the highest quality sugar is by having great connections and a lot of experience in the sugar industry (and we’re sure many of you readers have that).

Why Does Colour Matter in ICUMSA 45?

The colour of your sugar is going to be determined by the ICUMSA count, which can be identified using a colorimeter. Using the colorimeter will let you determine the exact wavelengths of light that are being absorbed by a substance, meaning you can determine how “white” a sugar is by using this tool. If the sugar is incredibly refined and white, it will absorb very little light, and you can only identify that by using a colorimeter.

Humans can perceive colour in a very specific way, meaning we can’t differentiate from the different types of white we may come across. To get the proper measurements you’ll need to use the right tools, and the colorimeter is actually where the number “45” was found. The purest Brazilian sugar you can find is going to have a reading on “45” when put through the colorimeter, and it’s a foolproof process that cannot be questioned; the sugars are blasted with 420 nm of light (and then ~560 nm) to see how much light will be absorbed. ICUMSA 45 is the real deal in terms of quality!

Why is ICUMSA 45 Traded So Frequently?

Sugar is a large commodity to consider trading all throughout the globe, which is why ICUMSA 45 has become so popular. Sugar trading is going to rely greatly upon futures trading, which means most of the crops that are being invested upon haven’t even grown yet – you’re typically purchasing inventory in advance, and in some cases, it can take up to 3 years to have your sugar cane planted (not grown, planted!). Brazil is not known for exporting a lot of its sugar, although it’s refining quite a bit annually; those who are new to this market will notice that a lot of the ICUMSA 45 stock has been sold well before they’ve tried to buy in (or it was produced).

As a result, many traders who are looking to invest in ICUMSA 45 are out of luck when it comes to purchasing sugar in bulk, and this rings true even if you’re looking to get your hands on lower quality options. ICUMSA 45 is the highest grade of sugar available on the market right now, and unless humans stop craving sweets and delicious treats, it’s going to remain an important commodity to consider for any investor out there.

White refined sugar isn’t always looked at for its investment opportunities, as most people are just going to use it for baking or their coffee. Everything has a price in this world, and if you’re willing to learn, you can make a pretty penny by trading ICUMSA 45! Finding a reliable supplier that isn’t currently backlogged can be tough, but once you do find them, make sure you hold on tight.

To learn more about the specifications of ICUMSA 45, please visit our commodities page! If you would like to inquire about purchasing ICUMSA 45, submit the form on our contact us page!

Agro Maritime Commodities

Agro Maritime Commodities is a full service bulk supplier of agricultural commodities and the first corporation worldwide to offer an online auction for commodities.

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