Top Sugar Importing And Exporting Countries

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Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar, refers to sucrose.

Top Sugar importing countries are:

  • Brazil
  • India
  • The E.U
  • China
  • Thailand

Sucrose is found in almost all plants, but it occurs at concentrations high enough for economic recovery only in sugarcane and sugar beets. The former is a giant grass growing in tropical and subtropical areas; the latter is a root crop grown in temperate zones. Sugarcane ranges from 7 to 18 percent sugar by weight, while sugar beets are from 8 to 22 percent sugar by weight. Sucrose from either source or two relatively minor sources, the sugar maple tree, and the date palm is the same molecule, yielding 3.94 calories per gram as do all carbohydrates. Differences in sugar products come from other components isolated with sucrose.

Top sugar exporting countries are:

  • Brazil
  • India
  • Thailand
  • France
  • Germany

The first cultivated sugar crop was sugarcane, developed from wild varieties in the East Indies probably New Guinea. The sugar beet was developed as a crop in Europe in the 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars when France sought an alternate homegrown source of sugar to save its ships from running blockades to sugarcane sources in the Caribbean. Sugarcane, once harvested, cannot be stored because of sucrose decomposition. For this reason, cane sugar is generally produced in two stages, manufacture of raw sugar taking place in the cane-growing areas and refining into food products occurring in the sugar-consuming countries. Sugar beets, on the other hand, can be stored and are therefore generally processed in one stage into white sugar.

Top 5 Sugar producing countries

The largest sugar-producing countries were as follows:

Brazil: The Latin American giant regained its historical place as the world’s largest sugar producer from India during the 2019 to 2020 crop year. The country produced 29.93 million metric tons of sugar. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that Brazil’s sugar production will increase by over 40 percent to more than 42 million tons from 2020 to 2021. This massive increase in sugar production will be achieved by shifting a substantial fraction of Brazil’s sugar cane crop from ethanol production to sugar production. In addition to being the world’s largest sugar producer, Brazil is second only to the United States in ethanol production. Since the mid-1990s, the volume of sugar cane harvested and processed in Brazil has almost tripled. That reflects the rising demand for sugar cane ethanol and renewable fuels in general. With no drop in food production over that time, Brazil has proved its viability as an effective and efficient ethanol powerhouse.

India: India fell back to second place in sugar production from 2019 to 2020, narrowly losing the top spot to Brazil. India’s economy produced 28.9 million metric tons of sugar. That is about 17 percent of the world’s total sugar production of 166.18 million metric tons. India’s sugar production is down from 2018 to 2019. However, the country expects sugar production to rise by 17 percent from 2020 to 2021 as the domestic consumption of sugar in India is forecast to hit a new record of 28.5 million tons.

The EU: Although it is a political and economic collection of individual countries instead of a single nation, the European Union is the third-largest producer of sugar. In the 2019 to 2020 crop year, the EU produced 17.25 million metric tons of sugar. It is the world’s largest producer of beet sugar, which makes up 20 percent of the world’s total sugar production.

Beet sugar is primarily produced in northern Europe, including northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. Sugar production in the EU is projected to decline again during the 2020 to 2021 crop year, dropping to 16.1 million tons. Drought and the beet yellow virus disease contributed significantly to the decline of European sugar production.

China produced 10.2 million metric tons of sugar from 2019 to 2020.1 Although China is one of the world’s largest sugar producers, it is a net importer of sugar. Its demand for sugar has grown significantly during the past few decades. Historically, there has been a large gap between domestic prices held high by the Chinese government to support farmers and falling international sugar prices. The Chinese domestic sugar sector has had difficulty competing internationally.

It has higher production costs for sugar than foreign competitors. China allows for 1.95 million tons of sugar imports a year at a tariff of 15 percent due to an agreement with the World Trade Organization. Imports beyond that amount are subject to higher tariffs of 50 and require extra permits.


In 2017 and several percent subsequent years, China added additional amounts to that 50 percent. From 2019 to 2020, the total tariff for imports over the allowed quota was 85 percent or even 95 percent. The tariffs expired in May 2020, and China did not renew them, so they returned to 50 percent.

Thailand is the fifth largest producer of Sugar as Sugar cane is one of Thailand’s most important crops. The country produced almost 8.25 million metric tons of sugar during the 2019 to 2020 crop year. Not only is Thailand the fifth largest sugar producer in the world, but it is also a large sugar exporter, with most of the nation’s sugar going to exports.


For the 2020 to 2021 crop year, sugar production for Thailand is forecast to decline slightly to 7.9 million tons. Production is down primarily due to droughts. Domestic Thai sugar consumption is expected to increase, further reducing the country’s export earnings from sugar.


Top Sugar Consuming countries

Sugar is more than a sweetener for coffee or tea. It goes by many names including fructose, glucose, corn syrup, honey, and sucrose. All sugars, no matter what their name, are carbohydrates and provide people with energy. Sugar is most often associated with candy, soft drinks, and baked items, but can be found in almost any food. Sugar consumption is a tricky thing to control because the food industry often adds it that consumers might not think to check. The recommended limit for the daily dose of sugar for improved health is around 11 grams or roughly no more than 5 percent of daily calorie intake. According to the World Health Organization, this number should never exceed 25 grams. Many people consume far more than the recommendation. The following is a list of the top six sugar-consuming countries in the world.


United States Of America: The people of the US consume more sugar than any other country in the world. On average, Americans consume 126.4 grams of sugar daily. That represents one-quarter of a pound and more than 10 times the lowest recommendation. Many Americans reach for fast, processed foods when hungry because they are readily available. These processed foods are full of hidden sugars like high fructose corn syrup.

Germany: In Germany, the intake is reduced but still does not fall under the suggested guidelines. German residents consume 102.9 grams per day. With the desserts that come from the Bavarian region, this high intake level is easy to understand.

Netherlands: In the Netherlands, the third in sugar consumption, people eat or drink 102.5 grams of sugar daily. This is very similar to Germany, as both countries share a love of sweets.

Ireland: Number 4 on the list is Ireland whose residents consume 96.7 grams of sugar daily. Tea with milk and sugar is a very common drink here. Being a developed country, residents also have access to lots of processed foods.


Australia: Australians take in 95.6 grams of sugar every day which is almost 4 times the maximum recommendation set by the WHO.

Belgium, with its delicious chocolates, comes in at number 6 with daily consumption of 95 grams of sugar daily.


Top Sugar Importing countries

Global purchases of imported sugar cost a total of 25.1 billion dollars in 2020. Overall, the value of sugar imports for all buying countries declined by an average of minus 10.6 percent since 2016 when sugar purchases cost 28.1 billion dollars. Year over year, imported sugar increased in value by 13.3 percent from 2019 to 2020.

The biggest 5 importers of sugar are the United States, Indonesia, China, Italy, and Malaysia. Combined, these major sugar importers generated 29.3 percent of global sugar sales in 2020.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries consumed the highest dollar worth of imported sugar in 2020 with purchases valued at 12.1 billion dollars, or 48.2 percent of the global total. In second place were African importers at 20.2 percent while 17.2 percent of worldwide sugar imports were delivered to Europe.

North American nations took delivery of 10.3 percent of globally imported sugar, trailed by Latin America with 3.4 percent excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean and Oceania with 0.6 percent led by New Zealand.

Among the above countries, the leading sugar suppliers from 2019 to 2020 were: Vietnam up by 393.8 percent, India up by 110.3 percent, China up by 60.7 percent, and Nigeria up by 51.8 percent.

The lone imported sugar decliner year over year was Spain thanks to its minus 23.7 percent reduction.

Top Sugar exporting countries

Sugar exports by a country during 2020 were worth a total of 22.9 billion dollars, down by an average of minus 16.1 percent for all sugar shippers over the five-year period starting in 2016 when sugar shipments were valued at 27.3 billion dollars.

Year over year, the value of globally exported sugar increased by 11.7 percent from 2019 to 2020.

The 5 biggest exporters of sugar are Brazil, India, Thailand, France, and Germany collectively responsible for almost two-thirds or 64 percent of globally exported sugar.

Among continents, Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean sold the highest dollar value worth of sugar exports during 2020 with shipments amounting to 10.9 billion dollars or 47.7 percent of worldwide sugar shipments. Countries in Asia were responsible for 23.3 percent trailed by European suppliers at 18.4 percent.

Smaller percentages came from Africa with 7.3 percent, North America with 2.8 percent, and Oceania with 0.5 percent led by Australia and Fiji.

Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing sugar exporters from 2019 to 2020 were: Russia up by 73.4 percent, Brazil up by 66.7 percent, India up 4by 5.7 percent, and Morocco up by 42.2 percent.

Those countries that posted declines in their exported sugar sales were led by: Thailand which was down by minus 41 percent, Mexico was down by minus 28.6 percent, South Africa was down by minus 24.9 percent, Eswatini was down minus 18.5 percent and Guatemala was down by 16.5 percent.

As of the time of making this post, the current international price of Sugar is around 19.85 Dollars per pound.





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Sucrose is found in sugarcane and sugar beets. Sugarcane can’t be stored because of sucrose decomposition. Brazil regained its place as the world’s largest sugar producer from India. Thailand is the fifth largest producer and exporter of sugar in the world.

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