Prospects for Thailand's Sugar Industry - MECAS(16)07

Thailand’s sugar industry is one of the largest worldwide, producing in 2015 around 11 mln tonnes and exporting almost 8 mln tonnes of sugar, ensuring its place as the second largest exporter after Brazil. Recent government policy has encouraged a move by farmers from rice into cane, while a generally positive domestic pricing environment for both cane and sugar underlay rising output. The government has also approved new investments by the milling sector and is allowing new sugar millers to enter the industry. It targets by 2025/26 ample increases in cane output and sugar production. The objective in this study is to assess Thailand’s sugar industry outlook over the coming decade by examining key drivers including: the potential for cane area expansion; prospects for cane yields/quality; milling sector developments; and sugar consumption prospects – with a view to understanding the likelihood of export volumes growing to match rising demand throughout Asia. A key focal point is the relative success the Thai sugar industry has attained in adding value by diversifying into cane bagasse cogeneration and into fuel ethanol production.

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