About Sugar

The Sugar Market


Currently, about 110 countries produce sugar from either cane or beet, and eight countries produce sugar from both cane and beet. Sugarcane, on average, accounts for nearly 80% of global sugar production. Last October/September season the top ten producing countries (Brazil, India, EU-27, China, USA, Thailand, Russian Fed., Mexico, Pakistan, Australia).

Sugar crops offer production alternatives to food, such as livestock feed, fibre and energy, particularly biofuels (sugar-based ethanol) and co-generation of electricity(cane bagasse). Sugarcane is generally regarded as one of the most significant and efficient sources of biomass for biofuel production. A wide range of environmental and social issues are connected with sugar production and processing, and sugar crop growers, processors, plus energy and food companies, are seeking ways to address concerns related to sugar production, biofuels and sustainability.


World consumption rose in 2022 to 176.318 mln tonnes, up 7.045 mln tonnes or 4.2% from the previous year.

Major sugar consuming markets include India, EU-27, China, USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt.  

The most important drivers which influence sugar demand include:

  • population growth,
  • per capita incomes,
  • the price of sugar and alternative sweeteners, and 
  • health concern debate. 

International Trade

The volume of sugar traded internationally also increased to a new record at 69.822 mln tonnes, up 6.023 mln tonnes from 2021.  Multi-million growth in exports by India (+4.028 mln tonnes) and Thailand (+3.221 mln tonnes)is at the base of this change.  No significant change was monitored in the case of Brazil, by far the world’s leading sugar exporter. 

Main Features of the World Sugar Economy

The world sugar economy returned a surplus in 2022, after just one year of deficit.  World output exceeds global use by 2.612 mln tonnes. 

World production during 2022 reached 178.930 mln tonnes, a new record. A year-on-year increase of 13.818 mln tonnes is the second highest in history after 15.049 mln tonnes in 2011. 

Despite such a considerable growth in the use of sugar, in terms of per capita consumption the world average, at 22.1 kg, just recovered to that of the pre-Covid 2019.

Despite a statisticalsurplus, world market prices for both raw and white sugar remained relativelystrong throughout the year. Indeed, the lowest daily raw sugar price (measuredby the ISA daily price) was as high as USD16.81 cents/lb which can be comparedto USD14.72 cents/lb during 2021. Meanwhile, the lowest White Sugar Price Index was USD476.60/t as againstUSD418.50/t in the previous year.


New Information from the Institute of Food Science and Technology provides technical analysis on dietary sugars