Top 10 Sugar Exporting Countries

Top 10 Sugar Exporting Countries

10 Sweet Facts About the Top 10 Sugar Exporting Countries

Sugar is one of the most widely consumed commodities in the world, and also one of the most traded. But do you know which countries produce and export the most sugar? In this article, we will explore the top 10 sugar exporting countries, based on the latest data from the International Sugar Organization (ISO). We will also learn some interesting facts about their sugar industries, such as how they grow, process, and market their sugar, and what challenges and opportunities they face.

1. Brazil

Brazil is the undisputed leader in sugar production and exports, accounting for about 20% of the global market. Brazil grows mainly sugarcane, which is harvested and crushed to produce raw sugar and ethanol. Brazil is also the world’s largest producer and consumer of ethanol, which is used as a biofuel for vehicles. Brazil’s sugar industry is highly efficient and competitive, thanks to its favorable climate, large-scale mechanization, and low production costs. However, Brazil also faces some challenges, such as environmental and social impacts of sugarcane expansion, fluctuating prices and demand, and trade disputes with other countries.


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2. Thailand

Thailand is the second-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 12%. Thailand grows both sugarcane and sugar beet, but sugarcane is more dominant. Thailand’s sugar industry is supported by the government through various policies and subsidies, such as guaranteed prices, quotas, tariffs, and loans. Thailand’s sugar industry is also diversified, producing not only raw and refined sugar, but also molasses, ethanol, and electricity from bagasse (the fibrous residue of sugarcane). Thailand’s main challenges include climate change, pests and diseases, labor shortages, and competition from other exporters.

3. India

India is the third-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 11%. India is also the world’s largest consumer of sugar, with a population of over 1.3 billion people. India grows mainly sugarcane, which is cultivated by millions of small farmers across different regions. India’s sugar industry is regulated by the government through various measures, such as minimum support prices, export subsidies, buffer stocks, and import duties. India’s sugar industry is also diverse, producing not only white and raw sugar, but also khandsari (a type of unrefined sugar), gur (jaggery), and ethanol. India’s main challenges include low productivity, high production costs, surplus stocks, debt accumulation, and trade barriers.

4. Australia

Australia is the fourth-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 7%. Australia grows only sugarcane, which is harvested and processed in coastal areas of Queensland and New South Wales. Australia’s sugar industry is highly efficient and competitive, thanks to its advanced technology, research and development, quality standards, and marketing strategies. Australia’s sugar industry is also sustainable, adopting best practices for environmental management, water use efficiency, soil health, and biodiversity conservation. Australia’s main challenges include weather variability, pests and diseases, market volatility, and trade negotiations.

5. Guatemala

Guatemala is the fifth-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 5%. Guatemala grows mainly sugarcane, which is harvested and milled in the south-central region of the country. Guatemala’s sugar industry is modern and innovative, investing in new technologies, equipment, and infrastructure to improve productivity, quality, and profitability. Guatemala’s sugar industry is also socially responsible, providing employment, education, health, and community development programs for its workers and their families. Guatemala’s main challenges include land conflicts, climate change, and trade disputes.

6. Russia

Russia is the sixth-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 4%. Russia grows both sugarcane and sugar beet, but sugar beet is more prevalent. Russia’s sugar industry has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, thanks to government support, domestic investment, and import substitution policies. Russia’s sugar industry has also diversified its products, producing not only white and raw sugar, but also confectionery, beverages, and animal feed. Russia’s main challenges include weather risks, logistical constraints, and quality issues.

7. Mexico

Mexico is the seventh-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 4%. Mexico grows mainly sugarcane, which is harvested and refined in various states of the country. Mexico’s sugar industry is influenced by its trade relationship with the United States, which is its main export destination under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico’s sugar industry is also integrated with its ethanol and bioelectricity sectors, which provide alternative sources of income and energy. Mexico’s main challenges include oversupply, low prices, and trade conflicts.

8. France

France is the eighth-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 3%. France grows mainly sugar beet, which is cultivated and processed in northern and eastern regions of the country. France’s sugar industry is highly productive and competitive, benefiting from its favorable climate, soil, and irrigation conditions, as well as its skilled workforce, research and innovation, and quality standards. France’s sugar industry is also diversified, producing not only white and raw sugar, but also specialty sugars, starch, and bio-based products. France’s main challenges include market liberalization, price volatility, and environmental regulations.


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9. Ukraine

Ukraine is the ninth-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 3%. Ukraine grows mainly sugar beet, which is grown and processed in central and western regions of the country. Ukraine’s sugar industry has recovered from a period of decline in the 1990s and 2000s, thanks to increased domestic demand, export opportunities, and government support. Ukraine’s sugar industry is also modernizing its facilities, equipment, and practices to improve efficiency, quality, and profitability. Ukraine’s main challenges include political instability, economic crisis, and trade restrictions.

10. Colombia

Colombia is the tenth-largest sugar exporter in the world, with a market share of about 2%. Colombia grows mainly sugarcane, which is harvested and milled in the Cauca River Valley in the southwest of the country. Colombia’s sugar industry is dynamic and resilient, adapting to changing market conditions and consumer preferences. Colombia’s sugar industry is also integrated with its ethanol and bioelectricity sectors, which contribute to its energy security and environmental sustainability. Colombia’s main challenges include social unrest, violence, and drug trafficking.

Top 10 Sugar Exporting Countries and Global Demand Trends

Sugar is one of the most widely consumed commodities in the world, with an estimated global consumption of 176 million metric tons in 2022/2023. The demand for sugar is driven by various factors, such as population growth, income levels, dietary preferences, and biofuel production. In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 sugar exporting countries and how the global demand for sugar has changed over time.

According to the World’s Top Exports website, the top 10 sugar exporting countries in 2022 were:

  • Brazil: US$11 billion (35.6% of total sugar exports)
  • India: $5.7 billion (18.6%)
  • Thailand: $3.1 billion (9.9%)
  • France: $1.2 billion (3.7%)
  • Germany: $890.6 million (2.9%)
  • Mexico: $825.3 million (2.7%)
  • Guatemala: $799.7 million (2.6%)
  • Morocco: $433.8 million (1.4%)
  • Netherlands: $391.3 million (1.3%)
  • Belgium: $335.2 million (1.1%)

These 10 countries accounted for 84.3% of the global sugar exports in 2022, with Brazil being the dominant exporter by a large margin. Brazil is also the largest producer of sugarcane in the world, with an output of 715.7 million metric tons in 2021.

Global Demand Trends for Sugar

The global demand for sugar has increased steadily over the past decade, from 156 million metric tons in 2010 to 176 million metric tons in 2022/2023, according to Statista. The main drivers of this growth are the rising populations and incomes in developing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, where sugar consumption per capita is still below the world average.

The top three countries by sugar consumption in 2022/2023 were India, the European Union, and China, in that order. India consumed about 28 million metric tons of sugar, followed by the EU with 18 million metric tons and China with 15.5 million metric tons.

However, the demand for sugar is also influenced by other factors, such as health concerns, environmental issues, and trade policies. For example, some countries have implemented taxes or regulations on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce obesity and diabetes rates. Others have promoted the use of ethanol as a renewable fuel source, which requires large amounts of sugarcane or corn as feedstocks.

The future of the global sugar market will depend on how these factors interact and affect the supply and demand dynamics of sugar.

References:

https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/sugar.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20170125080727/https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/sugar/doc/sugar-faq_en.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20180507053743/https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp61_sugar_dumping_0.pdf

http://diabetesed.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Annals-int-medicine-sugar-study-skew.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/273437/exported-amount-of-sugar-in-leading-countries/
https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/sugar-producing-countries
https://www.isosugar.org/sugarsector/sugar
https://www.isosugar.org/publications/sugar-yearbook-2020/
http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC
https://www.worldbank.org/en/research/commodity-markets



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