HA NOI — For the first time in many years, Viet Nam has produced sufficient sugar for domestic demand, said Doan Xuan Hoa, deputy head of Agro-forestry Processing and Salt Industry Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
In addition, Vietnamese sugar producers have exported 200,000 tonnes of sugar so far this year, added Hoa.
Increased coverage, productivity and output for the 2011-2012 crop have resulted in an abundant supply of sugar in the market.
Viet Nam planted 284,000 ha of sugarcane for this year's crop. With productivity of 61.7 tonnes/ ha, the country has so far this year obtained an output of 17.5 million tonnes. As of now, all 39 sugar plants across Viet Nam have processed 14.5 tonnes of sugarcane and produced 1.3 tonnes of sugar.
Sugar producers paid farmers VND0.95-1 million per tonne of sugarcane.
Director General of Bien Hoa Sugar Company Nguyen Van Loc warned that if sugar continues to be imported illegally, sugar producers will have to adjust their sugarcane buying price to minimise their loss risks. However, if doing so, producers will face a dilemma: if they lower their buying price too much, farmers might switch to other, more profitable crops and leave producers scrambling to find new sources for raw sugarcane.
MARD forecasted that in the 2012-2013 crop, Viet Nam will plant 300,000 ha of sugarcane with an estimated output of 18.9 million tonnes. As a result, Viet Nam will be able to produce nearly 1.6 million tonnes of sugar. Domestic demand is estimated at about 1.4 million tonnes of sugar, so there will be a surplus of 200,000 tonnes of sugar.
MARD Deputy Minister Diep Kinh Tan said that next year the sugar business would be very competitive as a result of the global economic crisis. He also reminded the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the wide gap in selling prices between sugar plants and sugar traders. — VNS