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Sugarcane output in Thailand, world’s second-biggest exporter of the sweetener, will be at an all-time high this year after rice farmers switched crops for better income, government sources have announced
Secretary-general of Cane and Sugar Board Pichai Tangchanachaianan said, “An increasing number of small rice farmers in the northeastern region have shifted to cane for better returns. We could see production of more than 104mn tonnes this year and probably again next season as income from cane is more attractive than other crops.”
Output for the 2014-15 may exceed 104mn tonnes, beating an earlier forecast of 102.8mn tonnes, Tangchanachaianan added.
For all of 2013-14, sugarcane output was an all-time high of 103.7mn tonnes with record sugar production of 11.3mn tonnes in the country.
The global production is also set to exceed demand for a fifth year, leaving the biggest stockpiles on record, according to the International Sugar Organisation. Rice prices traded in USA have dropped 14 per cent over the same period.
During the first 130 days of the 2014-15 season which started on 1 December, the cane harvest was 103.9mn tonnes, with sugar production of 11mn tonnes, Thai government figures show. In the same period a year earlier, cane output was 101mn tonnes with sugar production of 11mn tonnes in the Southeast Asian nation.