Sugar production globally has grown exponentially in the last decade and it continues to do so until now. In 2019, the world produced 1,317 million metric tons of sugar, which was 2 percent higher than in 2018 and 8 percent higher than in 2000. The total global production of sugar from cane and beet had increased to 1,382 million metric tons in 2020, as per data by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). More than half of that sugar production came from Brazil, India, China, and Mexico. The top 10 sugar-producing countries were responsible for 54 percent of the total global output in 2021-2022.
As India continues to build a reputation as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, it makes sense that its production of sugar will increase steadily. According to Sugar Stats, exports of refined sugar from India totalled nearly 2 million metric tons in 2016. The country is expected to produce approximately 5 million metric tons by 2022 and about 11 million metric tons by 2026.
The world’s second-largest sugar exporter, Brazil produces more than 5 million tons of sugar annually. The country has two predominant sugar cane producers: Cutrale Group and Cosan Limited. Its exports are anticipated to grow from 2.9 million tons in 2016 to 4.1 million tons by 2022, or about 50% over 6 years. The rise is attributed to increased demand for ethanol fuel, which is created from Brazilian sugarcane. A major development project may also help—the country plans to build a $4 billion ethanol refinery that will produce 90 million gallons of fuel each year beginning in 2019 and add capacity every year until reaching 180 million gallons per year by 2024.
Thailand is a sugar buyer with sugar imports of 2.2 million metric tons (MMT) in 2017, an increase of 6% over 2018. Sugar production increased by 5% between 2018 and 2019 to 7.5 MMT due to rising demand for high-value-added Thai cane sugar amid relatively low international prices. Thailand mainly imports raw, unprocessed sugar (90%) from Indonesia, Myanmar, and India; white sugar is sourced from China and Vietnam via indirect routes.
China is quickly becoming one of the most influential countries in sugar importing and exporting. In fact, China’s overall sugar production has been decreasing, while its imports have increased by almost 60% since 2005. It is also important to note that domestic demand for sugar continues to increase at a rapid pace, especially within China’s growing middle class. This means there will likely be an uptick in Chinese companies purchasing and exporting bulk quantities of sugar on an annual basis.
Pakistan is the sixth largest sugar producing country in the world and has a population of almost 190 million. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with over 99% of its population living in urban areas.
The government avoids any involvement in the production of sugar-based products, but this does not detract from its importance as a source for exports. The country is also increasingly being used as a transit point for crude oil and other commodities that are being exported from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran to Europe, Japan and the United States.
Sugar production reached approximately 192,000 metric tons (t) in 2012 and is expected to decrease slightly to around 190,000 t by 2022. However, Pakistan still remains one of the largest producers within Asia Pacific region with an estimated production capacity of around 210,000 tons per annum.
6) European Union
The European Union, which includes 28 member countries, is one of the world’s largest sugar producers. It produced 1.8 million tons of sugar in 2018, accounting for nearly one-third of global production. The EU’s sugar industry is dominated by France, Italy and Spain, which together produce more than half of the bloc’s output and account for almost 70% of total EU exports.
The EU also has a large presence in Africa. In 2017, the bloc exported 26 million tons of sugar to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), making it the continent’s second-largest supplier after Brazil. Most African countries rely on imported raw materials to produce their own food, so they are dependent on foreign suppliers to meet their needs — especially when those needs are high-quality products that cannot be produced domestically due to geography or weather conditions.
Russia is a major net exporter of sugar, shipping about twice as much abroad as it imports. The country mostly ships raw sugar but has been taking steps to upgrade its production facilities so that more refined products can be exported. Russia produced 3.2 million metric tons of sugar in 2017 and exported 2.6 million tons, leaving just 650,000 tons to meet domestic demand for sweetener and confectionary items. That ratio will shift significantly over the next five years, with analysts forecasting that domestic demand will outpace exports by nearly 700,000 tons between 2018 and 2022.
8) United States of America (USA)
The United States of America (USA) is an agricultural country well known for its sugar industry. The total area under sugarcane cultivation during 2016-17 was 5,565 thousand hectares against 4,525 thousand hectares during 2011-12. Production of sugarcane during 2016-17 was 217.7 million tonnes against 200.2 million tonnes during 2011-12. Increases in both area and production were due to good crop conditions with ample irrigation and rainfall over most parts of the country.
SugarCane is a popular sugar-producing crop grown in Australia. It is also one of top leading sugar export countries. Australia is a quality producer of several varieties of Sugar Cane. All main producing states produce cane for commercial and domestic consumption – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. Natural irrigation from northwest Queensland provides good soil conditions for growing sugarcane to be harvested between October to December each year. The Australian Cane Farmers Association Incorporation (ACFA) represents over 650 growers and mills throughout Australia.
Indonesia is not just one of Asia’s rapidly developing nations, but its sugar industry has been growing at a similar pace. In fact, Indonesia has doubled its sugar exports over the past decade and may soon become India’s main competitor on a global scale. Now that India has dropped out of the top-ten sugar exporting countries, it looks like Indonesia will do everything possible to snag their spot. This could include setting up new deals with countries like Brazil for better supply chain management and crop protection equipment, like AGRI-MOTOR does for our local farmers here in Australia. Ultimately, though, it seems unlikely that Indonesia will dethrone Brazil anytime soon as they also have plans to upgrade their ports to increase efficiency and make their international shipping stronger than ever before!
Our international experts predicted that China and Brazil would be the fastest-growing sugar-producing countries in the next five years. In addition, many emerging countries will play an increasingly important role in the global market.