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An international survey of sugar crop yields and prices paid for sugar cane and beet

The ISO has prepared an updated international survey on agricultural and industrial yields in a wide range of producing countries during the second half of the 1990s and first years of the current decade. The ISO also reproduces a long term (1992-2002) statistical series of prices paid for sugar crops in a representative cluster of sugar producing countries based on data of the FAO, which are available in the FAOSTAT database. A review of the developments in sugar crop and yields leads to an interesting observation that in spite of distortions imposed by national sugar regimes and protectionist policies, the world sugar economy keeps developing in accordance with economic theory. Both production and exports are increasingly concentrating in the countries where sugar industries were relatively more efficient in terms of sugar yields. The period under review (1994/95-2002/03) is characterized by a further reduction in beet sugar production in both absolute and proportional terms, while the importance of the efficient (in terms of agricultural and industrial yields) cane sugar producers has increased considerably, indicating a growing dominance of the latter in the world sugar economy. Prices paid to the growers for sugar cane and beet delivered to sugar mills/factories for processing and, hence, costs of raw material for the industry have shown a considerable decline since the mid-1990s. The costs of raw material (the expenses of the processing industry on cane purchases necessary to produce one tonne of sugar) for cane millers are nearly 40% lower that those of their colleagues in the beet sugar sector

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