Sweetness Tax Thwarts Thai Sugar Consumption

Office of Cane and Sugar Board (OCSB) has lately considered Thailand’s sugar consumption. Due to increasing sweetness tax in the country, demand of sugar consumption among Thai people lowered. Besides, current healthy lifestyle and changes of beverage formula by some manufacturers also result in less sugar consumption. This is therefore an issue that the OCSB should follow up closely to evaluate any situation that may affect cane and sugar industries in Thailand.

The Director General of OCSB, Mrs. Worawan Chit-arun revealed that some observations were made concerning impact on the increase of sweetness tax because it might result in changes of formula for goods production by some private companies, particularly use of artificial sweetener, which would soon lessen the need to use cane for sugar production. The OCSB will follow up on the situation closely.

If one considers amount of sugar consumption in Thailand, in 2017, Thai people consumed 2.6 million tons of sugar; in 2018, 2.5 million tons; in 2019 (from January to July), 1.46 million tons. Throughout this year, Thai people are expected to consumed around 2.6 million tons. Therefore, the sugar consumption amount in the past 3 years is not much different.

A source of information stated that Thailand’s sugar consumption could be categorized into 2 types: direct and indirect consumptions. The amount of selling sugar indirectly to consumers, if compared to the same period in 2018, is 570,000 tons while the amount of last year was 580,000 tons. The number is not much different as it is 10,000 tons less than the previous year. Moreover, according to the recent situation on cane and sugar in Thailand, lands for cane farming were expanded, hence amount of cane extraction and sugar production as high as 12-14% on average. However, local sugar consumption and sugar export are steady at around 5-6% per year, resulting in increase of sugar stock in Thailand.

Low price of sugar and cane in the world market also affect Thai cane and sugar industries. It might cause lower price of sugar cane, too, apart from increasing sweetness tax. Besides, sugar consumption behavior also plays a key role because Thai people are now being concerned about staying healthy by having less sugar than before.

The OCSB will somehow continue following up on the situation and will promote using cane and end-results of sugar production for high value biological goods. This is a good solution since it adds more value to sugar in Thailand and helps improve cane and sugar industries of the country in a sustainable way. Realizing how important it is for promotion and development of cane and sugar production, the OCSB will carry on the work in a fair manner for the benefit of everyone involved in this business.

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