Thai sugar industry hit by falling prices and exports

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The Thai sugar industry is struggling to revive as falling exports and prices have affected the sector. The global market prices have dropped to a six-year low by $0.22-$0.24 per kilogram, and the industry sees it as a threat.

According to the reports, the global surplus caused a decline in sugar prices. Some rival countries believe an increase in export from India is hampering the sugar prices. To reduce the sugar surplus, the Indian government last month announced financial assistance on 60 LMT sugar export for 2019-20 sugar season. The policy involves financial assistance of Rs 10,448 per metric tonne (mt) to sugar mills. The total estimated expenditure government will bear Rs 6268 crore.

The Indian sugar industry is suffering from various hurdles from last two to three years, and to bring the sector out of the crisis, the government had introduced various measures like soft loan scheme, hike in minimum selling price, scrapping of export duty, 100 per cent rise in import duty, and others. The rival countries have been claiming that India’s financial assistance is inconsistent with the WTO obligations and distorting the sugar market, which the Indian government had refuted saying the financial assiatnce is WTO compatible.

Thailand had exported 7.212 million tonnes of sugar in 2017, which reduced to 6.067 million tonnes in the first eight months of last year. Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Myanmar are the major importers who have reduced the imports.

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