Global sugar output expected at 173.1 MT in 2011-12: FAO

The bulk of the expansion is expected to take place in developed countries, where production is forecast to expand by 11.9%, compared with an expected 2% growth in developing countries, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in its global food outlook

New Delhi: World sugar production is expected to increase by 4% to 173.1 million tonnes (MT) in 2011-12 crop year, United Nation’s body Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its global food outlook.

Global output of the sweetener is estimated at 166.3 MT in the 2010-11 crop year (October-September), reports PTI quoting FAO data.

For the second consecutive year, global production is anticipated to surpass consumption, FAO’s food outlook and global market analysis report said.

“The expected growth is attributed to an overall expansion in areas planted to sugarcane and beet on account of higher returns. Also, high prices witnessed over the past 12 months fostered an increased use of fertilisers and other inputs,” the report said.

The bulk of the expansion is expected to take place in developed countries, where production is forecast to expand by 11.9%, compared with an expected 2% growth in developing countries, it added.

Although, the production is on the higher side, but, FAO cautioned that weak global economic scenario could affect the markets.

“However, a deterioration of the global economic outlook could curtail demand growth. Larger supply availabilities in several traditional importing countries are also likely to depress world import demand and result in a 6% decline in world trade,” it pointed out.

Against this backdrop, international sugar prices may weaken further in the course of the season, although demand for stock rebuilding is likely to provide some price support, the report added.

World sugar prices have been hovering at an average US cents 25.45 per pound (about Rs25 per kg) in October 2011.

FAO estimates that the global consumption of the sweetener will remain same at 23.8 kg per year in 2011-12, compared to 2010-11 while in Low Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDC) it could rise marginally to 16.1 kg per year from 16 kg per year in the same period.

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