Thai sugar production at record high

Thailand is looking to a record sugar production from the current 2013/14 harvest season, at 11.2 million tonnes, as a result of the improved quality of the cane being delivered to the mills, according to the research unit of Siam Commercial Bank.

SCB Economic Intelligence Center's economists Chotika Chummee and Kiattisak Kumse said in an analysis that Thailand had already produced 10.9 million tonnes of sugar this harvest season, as of April 1.

They projected another 3.5 million tonnes of cane will be crushed before the end of season in May, resulting in total sugar production of 11.2 million tonnes, or 11.8% more than the previous harvest year.

It was expected the total amount of sugarcane entering the crushing process for the 2013/14 crop year would be similar to the previous year,  around 100 million tonnes.

The record production was the result of an improvement in the yield from the cane, at 12.5 CCS (Commercial Cane Sugar, a measure of recoverable sugar in the cane), which is 8.7% higher than the previous crop.

One reason for this incresed yield is that farmers deliver fresh cane to the crushing mills, instead of burning off first. Farmers are using more of harvesting machines, instead of harvesting by hand, which results in a better quality of raw material for the factories.

 The longer period of cool weather than usual has also contributed to the improved yield.

Thailand was the world’s second-biggest sugar exporter last year, behind Brazil.

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