The sugar industry subsumes the production, processing
and marketing of sugars
). Globally, most sugar is extracted from sugar cane
(~80 % predominantly in the tropics) and sugar beet
(~ 20%, mostly in temperate climate like in the U.S. or Europe).
Sugar is used for soft drink
s, sweetened beverage
s, convenience food
s, fast food
, baked products
, and other sweetened foods. Sugarcane is used in the distillation of rum
Sugar subsidies have driven market costs for sugar well below the cost of production. As of 2018, 3/4 of world sugar production was not traded on the open market. The global market for sugar
s was some $77.5 billion in 2012, with sugar comprising an almost 85% share, growing at a compound annual growth rate
Globally in 2018, around 185 million ton
s of sugar was produced, led by India
with 35.9 million tons, followed by Brazil
There are more than 123 sugar-producing countries, but only 30% of the produce is traded on the international market.
Sugar subsidies have driven market costs for sugar well below the cost of production. As of 2018, 3/4 of world sugar production is never traded on the open market. Brazil controls half the global market, paying the most ($2.5 billion per year) in subsidies to its sugar industry.
The US sugar system is complex, using price support
s, domestic marketing allotments
, and tariff
It directly supports sugar processors rather than farmers growing sugar crops.
[ The US government also uses tariffs to keep the US domestic price of sugar 64 to 92% higher than the world market price, costing American consumers $3.7 billion per year.] [ A 2018 policy proposal to eliminate sugar tariffs, called "Zero-for-Zero", is currently (March 2018) before the US Congress.] [ Previous reform attempts have failed.
The European Union (EU) is a leading sugar exporter. The Common Agricultural Policy of the EU used to set maximum quotas for production and exports, and a subsidized sugar sales with an EU-guaranteed minimum price.] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4118448.stm] [https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/sugar/doc/sugar-faq_en.pdf] Large import tariffs were also used to protect the market. [ In 2004, the EU was spending €3.30 in subsidies to export €1 worth of sugar, and some sugar processors, like British Sugar, had a 25% profit margin.] [
A 2004 Oxfam report called EU sugar subsidies "dumping" and said they harm the world's poor.] [https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp61_sugar_dumping_0.pdf]
A WTO ruling against the EU quota and subsidy system in 2005-2006 forced the EU to cut its minimum price and quotas, and stop doing intervention buying. [ The EU abolished some quotas in 2015,] [https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sugar_en] but minimum prices remain. [https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/27/brexit-sugar-beet-cane-tate-lyle-british-sugar] Tariffs also persist for most countries. In 2009, the EU granted Least Developed Countries (LDCs) zero-tariff access to the EU market [ as part of the Everything but Arms initiative.] [
As of 2018, India, Thailand, and Mexico also subsidize sugar.] [
Glucose syrups produced from wheat and corn (maize) compete with the traditional dry sugar market.
The top 10 sugar-producing companies based on production in 2010:
The global sugar industry has a low market share concentration. The top four sugar producers account for less than 20.0% of the market.
* Raw sugar
* Liquid sugar
* Refined sugar
* Sugar alcohol
* Brown sugar
* Powdered sugar
Lobbying and marketing
The sugar industry engages in sugar marketing and lobbying, minimizing the health effects of sugar and influencing medical research and public health recommendations.
[original url, paywalled]
Author's conflict of interest disclosure forms
*International Sugar Organization
*Sugar Association (USA)
*European Association of Sugar Manufacturers (EU)
*Sugar Nutrition UK
*Indian Sugar Mills Association
*Criticisms of the sugar industry
**Sugar industry of the Philippines