Big Sugar

The sugar industry subsumes the production, processing and marketing of sugars (mostly sucrose and fructose). Globally, most sugar is extracted from sugar cane (~80% predominantly in the tropics) and sugar beet (~ 20%, mostly in temperate climate, like in the U.S. or Europe). Sugar is used for soft drinks, sweetened beverages, convenience foods, fast food, candy, confectionery, baked products, and other sweetened foods. Sugarcane is used in the distillation of rum. Sugar subsidies have driven market costs for sugar well below the cost of production. As of 2018, 3/4 of world sugar production was not traded on the open market. The global market for sugar and sweeteners was some $77.5 billion in 2012, with sugar comprising an almost 85% share, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6%. Globally in 2018, around 185 million tons of sugar was produced, led by India with 35.9 million tons, followed by Brazil and Thailand. There are more than 123 sugar-producing countries, but only 30% of the produce is traded on the international market.

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