Sugar demand will exceed supply

May 11, 2009

Farmers in Hoa Binh Province’s Cao Phong District harvest sugarcane. The output has noticeably dropped this season, which could lead to a shortage of sugar in August and September.

VietNamNet BridgeDemand for sugar will exceed supply as the output of sugarcane has reduced markedly this season, said the general secretary of the Viet Nam Sugarcane Association, Ha Huu Phai.

“Viet Nam is able to supply enough sugar for the domestic market by the end of August this year. Meanwhile, sugar refineries will start processing in September. So lack of sugar will occur in August and September,” said Phai at a conference on reviewing sugarcane processing in 2008-09 in Ha Noi yesterday.

In the 2008-09 season, a total of 40 sugar refineries are expected to process about 9.65 million tonnes of cane – equal to 951,000 tonnes of sugar – a reduction of 20 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Phai said there were nearly 200,000 tonnes of sugar in stores nationwide, including 61,000 tonnes imported according to WTO regulations.

Doan Xuan Hoa, Deputy director of the Department of Farming, Forest, and Fisheries Processing and Salt Industry said there were 270,600ha of sugarcane in the country this year, down by 36,000ha compared with last season.

He said the output of sugarcane reduced because the price of fertilisers including urea, phosphate and potassium had risen by three to 10 times in comparison with last season.

In addition, Hoa said bank interest rates had increased by 22-25 per cent per year while the price of sugar was up by nearly 10 per cent. The price of sugar is predicted to reach VND10,500 (US$0.60) per kilogram at the end of this month.

The current price of sugar is VND9,000 per kilogram. At this price, sugar could compete with other agriculture products such as rice and milk, said Hoa.

In comparison with other countries in the region, Hoa said a more suitable price wold be VND10,500 to VND11,000 per kilogram for white sugar because the price in Thailand, where it does not attract VAT, is VND11,000 while it was VND15,000 in China.



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