Brazil maintains dominant share of world sugar exports

A chart showing the world sugar export market shares

Brazil accounts for a dominant share of world sugar exports because of rapid expansion of cane sugar production at globally competitive prices. Brazil’s share of world sugar exports expanded fairly consistently from about 5 percent in 1989/90 to an average of just under 50 percent since 2009/10. The market share for other major sugar exporters, including Australia, Colombia, Guatemala, South Africa, and Thailand, has shown little tendency to grow or contract over time, and the rise in Brazil’s market dominance has been associated largely with decline in exports by previously large suppliers, particularly the EU and Cuba. Highly competitive costs of production have been a key factor driving the expansion of Brazil’s sugar exports. LMC International reports that production costs in the key Center/South region, which have been increasing, especially in dollar terms, for several years may now be leveling off. The last several years have seen the sugarcane crop aging due to underinvestment in the field. Replant rates have recovered in 2012, but it will take several years to restore a more optimal age profile. Nonetheless, Brazil, especially in the Center/South region, retains cost advantages from large average mill size and long crushing seasons. This chart can be found in Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: June 2013.

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