Home » News » The world's leading producers and consumers of sugarcane

The world's leading producers and consumers of sugarcane

Author: Alex     Publish Time: 2023-01-09      Origin: Alex

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
line sharing button
wechat sharing button
linkedin sharing button
pinterest sharing button
whatsapp sharing button
sharethis sharing button

I'm sure many of you have seen sugar cane, which is a large but herbaceous plant. Sugarcane grows up to 5 meters tall, and like tea, coffee, cocoa and other cash crops, it is usually grown much shorter, about a person's height, to make it easier to grow and harvest. Sugarcane grows best in the tropics, and therefore the major sugarcane producers are located in tropical countries and regions. For example, the most common provinces in China that grow sugar cane are those that cross the Tropic of Cancer, namely Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan and Taiwan. Usually the sugar cane in fruit stores is the better tasting variety, but with a lower sugar content. The variety of sugar cane that is actually used for extracting sugar is sweeter, but also less tasty due to its thicker fiber. The traditional method of sugar production is to first extract the juice of sugarcane, then perform preliminary filtering of impurities and heating and boiling. After several boiling and concentrating, the sugarcane juice will gradually turn into a sticky, dark brown syrup, and then add lime and other substances to promote the crystallization of cane sugar, and finally get the crude sugar. Generally speaking, 9 kilograms of sugarcane can produce about 1 kilogram of cane sugar, which is quite a high ratio compared to other kinds of plants.


There are currently about 110 countries worldwide engaged in sugar production, and the general trend in recent years has been that the production of sugar has stabilized and growth has begun to slow. In recent years, the world produces about 170-180 million tons of cane sugar annually, of which sugar cane sugar accounts for about 80%. The top 10 countries account for about 75% of global production, with Brazil, India, the EU, Thailand, and China as the major sugar-producing countries. 2019 saw Brazil reclaim its position as the world's largest sugar producer again, producing 29.35 million tons of sugar in 2019, accounting for 16.9% of global sugar production, followed by India, which produced 29.3 million tons of sugar in 2019, accounting for 16.8%, and the EU sugar production of 17.85 million tons, accounting for 10.3%, ranked third. China, on the other hand, ranks fifth in the world with 108.9 million tons of sugar in 2019.
Brazil is currently the world's largest producer and exporter of sugar, with a population of over 200 million people and an annual per capita consumption of 60 kg of sugar, making it one of the world's largest and most consuming countries in terms of sugar consumption. In recent years, Brazil has accounted for 1/3 of the total world sugar trade. Brazil has been an oil-poor country for a long time (only recently have large oil fields been discovered) and relies heavily on oil imports. In order to solve the problem of domestic energy supply, the Brazilian government has boldly organized and implemented a bioenergy program, investing billions of dollars in research and development of sugarcane alcohol as an alternative to gasoline as a motor fuel. Today, alcohol made from sugarcane has become an important motor fuel in Brazil. The sugar cane processing industry and alcohol processing industry, which are closely related to sugar cane, have become important pillars of the Brazilian economy and are closely related to people's lives.
As the origin of sugarcane, India is also a major sugar producer, surpassing Brazil in some years to become the world's top producer. Sugar consumption in India is also large, with the sugar produced being largely consumed in the country. 18.6 million tons of sugar was consumed in the EU region in 2019, accounting for roughly 10% of global sugar production. China has the fifth largest cane sugar production in the world, with 10.89 million tons of cane sugar production in FY2019, but the third largest consumption in the world, with 15.8 million tons of sugar consumption in 2019, so a significant proportion of cane sugar needs to be imported.


It is worth mentioning that among the many sugar-producing countries in the world, there are three prestigious island countries. One is Fiji, known as the "Sweet Island". One is Mauritius, known as the "Sugar Island". One is Cuba, known as the "Sugar Cane". These three countries are located in the world's three oceans, they have similar good geographical environment suitable for sugar cane growth, are located in the tropical island countries near the Tropic of Cancer, hot all year round, no frost damage, abundant precipitation, and a distinct wet and dry season. The late season of sugarcane growth coincides with the dry season, which facilitates harvesting and increases sugar content. All three islands have loose, well aerated and water-holding, fertile volcanic soils. These unique natural conditions make it possible to harvest each type of sugarcane once for 8 to 10 years in a row. The sugar industry in the three countries plays an important role in their national economies and generates a lot of wealth for the country through the export of sugar.
For a long time, sugar was mainly consumed by developed countries, and until the mid-1990s, sugar imports of developed countries were larger than those of developing countries, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, when developed countries accounted for more than 70% of the world's sugar imports. At present, sugar imports of developing countries are gradually exceeding those of developed countries. Developing countries' sugar imports are growing rapidly, with an average annual growth rate of nearly 3.3%, while developed countries are less than 1% during the same period. The reasons for this phenomenon are twofold: one is the increasing standard of living of people in developing countries, leading to an increase in sugar consumption; the other is that the demand for sugar in developed countries has been saturated, while starting to shift to healthier sugar substitutes.


We use cookies to enable all functionalities for best performance during your visit and to improve our services by giving us some insight into how the website is being used. Continued use of our website without having changed your browser settings confirms your acceptance of these cookies. For details please see our privacy policy.