A City analyst has reiterated his ‘buy’ recommendation for Tate & Lyle, despite downward pressure on the US sweetener market.

Commenting on the international speciality ingredients producer, which today released its interim management statement, Investec’s Martin Deboo said: “We don’t expect material change to our forecasts or 12-month fair multiple-based 900p target price. But we are expecting to have to be patient, despite the recent downward correction.”

The report showed that colder weather in spring and a slow start to the summer caused lower volumes in US bulk liquid sweeteners.

In its speciality food ingredients division, volumes and sales grew ahead of the wider market sector. This allowed for strong volume growth in Europe and in emerging markets.

Deboo added: “Both bulk (HFCS) and intense (Sucralose) sweetener sales are down in the US. Offsetting the US is a strong sweetener demand from Europe. However, the sales and profit relatives still favour the US.”

Tate & Lyle also revealed a strengthened financial position, due to a fall in net debt from £479m as of 31 March 2013 to £426m by 30 June.