Agriculture and Environment: Commodities

Table of Facts : Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)

Area Under Cultivation - 19.6 Million ha
Global Production - 1,255.8 Million MT sugarcane; 131.96 Million MT sugar (from beet and cane)
Average Productivity - 64,071 kg sugarcane/ha
Producer Price - $21 per MT
Producer Production Value - $26,217 million

International Trade
Share of World Production - 16%
Exports - 35.0 million MT
Average Price - $229 per MT
Value - $8,016 Million

Principal Producing Countries/Blocs
(of sugarcane by weight)

Brazil, India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, Australia

Principal Exporting Countries/Blocs
(of sugar from cane)
Brazil, Australia, Thailand, Cuba, South Africa, Guatemala

Principal Importing Countries/Blocs (of sugar)
Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia

Major Environmental Impacts

  • Conversion of primary forest habitat
  • Soil erosion and degradation
  • Agrochemical use
  • Organic matter from processing effluents

Potential to Improve

  • Poor
  • Price too low to improve industry or genetics
  • BMPs are known but producers are set in their ways
  • Subsidies for sugar beets and cane and market barriers in developed countries are disincentives for producers to change

Source: FAO 2002. All data for 2000. Note: Raw sugar is equal to 17% of sugarcane by weight. Sugar is produced from sugarcane and sugar beets. Sugarcane is grasslike plant grown in the tropics. Sugar beet is a tuber grown in temperate climates. FAO statistics do not distinguish sugar from cane or from beet.


Extracts from "World Agriculture & Environment" by Jason Clay - buy the book online from Island Press

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