Thailand set to complete 2020-21 sugar cane crush by end March at 66.5 mil mt

March 26, 2021
S & P Global Platts |


Singapore — Thailand is expected to complete sugar cane crush operations for the October 2020-September 2021 marketing season by March 31, with industry sources expecting final cane output at around 66.5 million mt.

As of March 22, the total volume of cane crushed stood at 66.48 million mt, down almost 13% from the same period last year, according to an official report shared by a market source.

Crushing typically ends over April-May, but was shorter this year due to a smaller than usual crop.

Only 4 of Thailand's 57 sugar mills still currently have cane crushing operations ongoing, according to the report.

However sucrose recovery has edged higher and is averaging at 11.34% -- up from 11.03% in the previous season -- as the Thai government ramps up regulatory efforts to improve air quality by reducing sugar cane burning.

New regulations require that sugar millers procure no more than 20% of their cane as burned cane from farmers, with the balance 80% required to be fresh sugar cane.

While the regulations have slowed down harvesting, it has increased sugar recovery and reduced air pollution, industry sources said.

Platts Analytics estimates Thai sugar production for the 2020-21 marketing season at 7.55 million mt tel quel, down 9% year on year.