Australian Sugar Production and Exports Continue to Surge
Over the past decade, Australia=s sugar industry has witnessed a boom in production and exports. Currently, Australia is the world=s sixth largest sugar producer, Australia is expected to be the third largest exporter in 1997/98. Asian consumption of sugar continues to increase. Australia, the region=s fastest growing exporter, is expected to be the main supplier of sugar to meet this rising consumption. Production has increased by 84 percent since 1991/92 and exports have nearly doubled. This growth is due to continued expansion of the sugar cane area, increased milling efficiency, and growing international demand. Many sources expect this growth to continue, with sugar production growing from 1997/98's 5.9 million tons to a projected 6.4 million tons in marketing year 2001/02.
Production and Export Outlook
Australian Sugar Production and Export Growth
The Australian sugar industry is one of the most dynamic sugar industries in the world. In 1997/98 Australia is forecast to surpass Thailand in both production and exports. Production in 1997/98 is forecast at 5.9 million metric tons, a 3 percent increase over the previous year=s output. Overall, Australian sugar industry officials expect production to grow approximately 3 to 5 percent per year for the next 5 to 10 years.
In 1997/98 Australia=s sugar exports are forecast at a record 4.5 million tons, 5 percent above the previous year=s shipments. Australia=s future sugar exports are expected to rely on Asian markets. Sugar production in many Asian countries such as the Philippines, Japan, and India are expected to decline over the next 5 years. In other Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, domestic consumption of sugar is forecast to exceed any increases in production. This gives Australia the opportunity to expand its exports in a large and growing market. While other major sugar producers are also forecast to increase production, such as Brazil and the European Union, Australia has the advantage of very low costs of production and is extremely competitive.
Sugar Exports to the United States
In 1997/98, under the sugar Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) Australia is allowed to export 92,846 metric tons of raw sugar to the United States. This amount was lowered from the previous year=s level of 134,681 metric tons. This drop in allocation is a reflection of an overall decrease of 600,000 tons in the total TRQ allocation. Australia has filled their TRQ allocation over the past several years.
For more information, contact Debbie Seidband at (202) 720-6877.