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) accounted for nearly 70% of global output.
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.
In 2021, world consumption rose following three years of decline, to 168.479 mln tonnes, up 0.155 mln tonnes. World average per capita consumption in 2021 fell to 21.4 kg, down 0.2 kg from the previous year and lower than the 2016 high of 23.0 kg.
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:
The volume of sugar traded internationally in 2021 declined, by 4.790 mln tonnes from the previous year’s record level, to 63.149 mln tonnes. A 3.381 mln tonne decline in Brazil exports is at the base of this change, while a smaller crop in Thailand saw shipments fall by 2.162 mln tonnes. Indian exports rose for the fourth year in a row to8.133 mln tonnes, up 1.083 mln tonnes on the 2020 level.
The world sugar economy returned a deficit in 2021, after three years of surplus. World output fell short of global use by 3.312 mln tonnes.
World production during 2021 fell by 4.164 mln tonnes to 165.167 mln tonnes, a third year of decline. Global beet sugar production totalled 34.204 mln tonnes, down 0.191 mln tonnes from a revised 2020 total, while cane sugar production declined to 130.964 mln tonnes, down 3.972 mln tonnes.
World consumption rose in 2021, following three years of decline, to 168.479 mln tonnes, up 0.155 mln tonnes. World average per capita consumption in 2021 fell to 21.4 kg, down 0.2 kg from the previous year and lower than the 2016 high of 23.0 kg.
Sugar prices rose in the final quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, in line with other commodities, but rose more strongly mid-year before falling back in the final quarter of 2021, to return a 34% rise in the FAO food index sub-category, compared to a 23% increase overall.