November 21, 2018 / 12:07 AM / 2 years ago

Global sugar production to fall, but Indian output to rise: USDA

FILE PHOTO: Labourers load sugarcane into a load carrier at a wholesale sugarcane market in Kolkata, India, January 11, 2016.REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Tuesday forecast world sugar production will fall about 9 million tonnes in 2018/19 to 185.9 million tonnes, while global consumption swells to new records.

In its biannual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the decline in global production was primarily due to Brazil, where yields have been lower and where an increasing share of sugarcane is being diverted to ethanol production.

Brazilian output was expected to decline 8.3 million tonnes to 30.1 million tonnes, according to the report.

Indian production, meanwhile, is set to rise 1.8 million tonnes to a record 35.9 million as a greater share of land is dedicated to cultivating sugar.

This is the first time in more than 15 years that Indian production would exceed Brazil’s, according to the report.

Higher Indian production is set to drive an increase in global stocks, which are expected to rise to a record 53 million tonnes, even as consumption increases.

Global consumption is expected to rise to 176.8 million tonnes from 174 million tonnes in 2017/18. This represents a slight downward revision from May’s report, when consumption was forecast at 177.6 million tonnes.

Reporting by Ayenat Mersie; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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