USDA predict global sugar output to fall by 9 million tonnes in 2018-19

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecast that world sugar production will fall about 9 million tonnes in 2018/19 to 185.9 million tonnes, while global consumption swells to new records.

In its half yearly report, the USDA said the decline in global production was primarily due to Brazil, where yields have been lower and where an increasing share of sugarcane is being diverted to ethanol production.  Brazilian output was expected to decline 8.3 million tonnes to 30.1 million tonnes.

Indian production, meanwhile, is set to rise 1.8 million tonnes to a record 35.9 million as a greater share of land is dedicated to cultivating sugar. This is the first time in more than 15 years that Indian production would exceed Brazil’s production.

Higher Indian production is set to drive an increase in global stocks, which are expected to rise to a record 53 million tonnes, even as consumption increases.

Global consumption is expected to rise to 176.8 million tonnes from 174 million tonnes in 2017/18. This represents a slight downward revision from USDA’s May report, when consumption was forecast at 177.6 million tonnes.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at

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