NEW DELHI: Buoyed by rise in sugar output in India, Pakistan, Russia and the EU, global production of the sweetener is expected to rise by almost 5 per cent to 172.8 million tonnes (mt) in the 2011-12 marketing season, United Nation's body FAO has said.

World sugar production stood at 165.1 mt in the 2010-11 marketing year (October-September), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a report.

"FAO's current estimate for world sugar production in 2011-12 stands at 173 mt, relatively unchanged from the November 2011 forecast, but 4.6 per cent larger than in 2010-11," it noted.

Downward revisions in output, mainly in Brazil, Mexico and the US were largely offset by upward revisions in the EU, Russian and Pakistan, it added.

"Developing countries are forecast to harvest 131 mt, 1.2 per cent more than in 2010-11, led by increases in India and Pakistan, while output in developed countries is anticipated to expand by 17 per cent to 42 mt, led by Russian Federation and the EU," FAO noted.

According to FAO, sugar production in India, the world's second largest producer after Brazil, is pegged at 28.1 mt in the current season from 26 mt in the 2010-11 marketing season.

While Indian industry has pegged the sugar output at 26 mt in the 2011-12 marketing season, the Agriculture Ministry has forecast the production at 25.2 mt.

In case of Pakistan, the global body said that sugar output is expected to rise to 5.2 mt in 2011-12 marketing season from 4.4 mt in the year-ago period.

The sugar output in the EU is expected to increase to 17.9 mt in 2011-12 season from 15.7 mt is the year-ago period, while production in Russia is pegged to rise to 5.5 mt from 2.9 mt in the same period, it added.

FAO expects global sugar consumption to rise to 167.4 mt in the current season on the back of low prices and increased availability.

"Increased supply availability and lower prices are expected to support larger sugar intake than in the previous season. In 2009-10 and 2010-11, high domestic sugar prices curtailed demand in virtually all regions," it added.

World per capita sugar consumption will remain steady at 23.8 kg in 2011-12, FAO said.

Despite rising consumption of sugar, the global economic slowdown could hamper demand growth, the agency said.

"Aggregate sugar utilisation in developing countries is set to expand by 2.4 mt to 118 mt, or 70.4 per cent of global consumption. In the generally more mature markets of developed countries, consumption is to increase by 1.3 mt.

"However, a slowdown of global economic growth in 2012 could undermine prospects for demand expansion, as manufacturing and food preparation sectors, which account for the bulk of aggregate sugar consumption, are particularly sensitive to income changes," FAO pointed out.

source: ET


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