Thailand Forecasts Record-High Cane, Refined Sugar Output in 2017/18

Thailand is expecting to produce a record output of sugarcane and refined sugar in 2017/18, boosted by favorable weather conditions, the government said on January (11/01).

In the past two years, Thailand, the world’s second-largest sugar exporter, suffered from its worst drought in more than two decades followed by unseasonable downpours that brought agricultural activities to a halt in some regions.

But the Office of the Cane and Sugar Board under the Ministry of Industry forecast better yields this year as the country is recovering from those weather woes.

“Assessing the weather conditions, cane output should be around 107 million to 110 million tonnes,” Ekapat Wangsuwan, the sugar board’s deputy secretary-general, told Reuters.

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The forecast is considerably higher than the 93 million tonnes of sugarcane Thailand was able to produce in the previous crop year. The previous record was 105 million tonnes in the 2014/15 season.

The figures, which Ekapat said roughly translate to 11 million to 12 million tonnes of refined sugar, are also in line with the 11.2 million tonnes forecast by the US Department of Agriculture attache in Thailand in a September 2017 report.

Global sugar production is also forecast to rise by 8 percent to a record 192 million tonnes, raw value, in 2017/18, boosted by an increase in output in the European Union and Thailand.

Thailand keeps about 2.6 million to 2.7 million tonnes of sugar a year for domestic consumption and exports the rest.

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