The 20 countries with the largest sugar production
Based on our findings, here are the 20 countries that produce the most sugar:
Annual output of raw sugar: 1.17 million tons
Ukraine is the global sugar market leader, mainly producing beet sugar. The country is estimated to produce about 1.17 million tonnes of sugar in the 2020/2021 crop year. Due to its fertile soil conditions and favorable climate, a large part of Ukraine's agricultural sector is dedicated to sugar beet cultivation. The main areas for sugar beet cultivation include Poltava, Vinnitsa and Khmelnytsky.
Annual output of raw sugar: 1.56 million tons
Sugar production in Iran mainly revolves around two crops: sugar beet and sugar cane. In the 2020/21 crop year, the country produced more than 1.56 million tonnes of sugar annually. Sugar beets are grown in the country's cold north, while sugar cane is grown in the hot, humid south. Sadly, Iran has struggled with water shortages affecting sugar production.
Annual raw sugar production: 1.8 million tons
Argentina is famous for its fertile pampas and has a long history of sugarcane harvesting. As such, it is one of the top sugar producing countries with an annual production of over 1.8 million tons. The subtropical provinces of Tucumán, Salta and Jujuy are Argentina's main sugarcane growing areas, as they benefit from abundant rainfall and warmth. Argentina's sugar industry is highly mechanized and focuses on producing bioethanol from sugar cane as an alternative energy source.
17. South Africa
Annual raw sugar production: 2.1 million tons
South Africa's sugar industry is mainly concentrated in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The country has about 24,000 registered sugarcane growers and ranks among the 20 countries with the highest sugar production. South Africa grows approximately 19-20 million tonnes of sugarcane each year, which is then processed in 14 factories across the country. Sugar production provides employment and promotes infrastructure development.
Annual output of raw sugar: 2.123 million tons
Indonesia is one of the countries with the largest sugar production. It is also Asia's fifth-largest sugar consumer; the country's sugar industry is concentrated in Java, where the climate is conducive to sugarcane cultivation. However, despite its vast cultivation area, Indonesia's sugar production is often insufficient to meet domestic demand due to inefficient cultivation and processing.
Annual raw sugar production: 2.125 million tons
In the Philippines, the sugar industry is an important industry that directly or indirectly supports more than 5 million people. The country produces an average of 2.12 million tons of sugar every year, mainly to meet domestic consumption. The Philippines' sugar industry also contributes significantly to bioethanol production, as the Biofuels Act of 2006 stipulates that gasoline must contain a minimum amount of bioethanol.
Annual raw sugar production: 2.21 million tons
Colombia produces approximately 2.2 million tons of sugar annually and sugar cane is an important cash crop. Most of this output is used for domestic consumption, while a significant portion is converted into ethanol for biofuels.
Annual raw sugar production: 2.65 million tons
Guatemala is one of the world's largest sugar exporters, producing approximately 2.65 million tons of sugar annually. Notably, the industry has invested heavily in modern irrigation, production and sugarcane waste cogeneration technologies.
Annual output of raw sugar: 2.79 million tons
Sugar production in Turkey is dominated by sugar beet and has been transformed due to government agricultural policies. State-run sugar mills have traditionally dominated the industry, but liberalization since 2018 has allowed private players to make a significant contribution to production. Turkey produced about 2.79 million tons of sugar last crop year, but it relies on sugar imports to meet domestic consumption needs, which means a gap between production and demand.
Annual raw sugar production: 2.9 million tons
Egypt is one of the largest sugar producers in Africa, with an annual output of nearly 3 million tons. Egypt's sugar industry has taken a big step towards modernization and invested heavily in machinery upgrades and refining processes. The government has also been working towards ensuring self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on imported sugar.
Annual raw sugar production: 3.8 million tons
France is one of Europe's largest producers of sugar, especially sugar beets, as they are well suited to its mild climate. The country's annual sugar production is 3.8 million tonnes due to sugar beet production. France has high-yielding sugar beet varieties and its efficient, modern sugar refineries take full advantage of the crop. France's sugar industry also takes a sustainable approach, as many producers use beet pulp and molasses (by-products of the sugar production process) to make biofuels and animal feed.
Annual raw sugar production: 4.33 million tons
The Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales have a booming sugar industry centered on sugar cane production. In 2020/2021, my country's raw sugar production exceeded 4.33 million tons, becoming one of the largest sugar producers. Most Australian sugar mills are typically located in coastal areas, taking advantage of the tropical climate required for sugarcane growth.
Annual raw sugar production: 5.6 million tons
Pakistan ranks among the 10 countries with the highest sugar production due to its arable land area. The sugarcane industry contributes approximately 0.6% to GDP and employs approximately 1.5-1.8 million farmers. Despite facing extreme power shortages, outdated farming practices and inefficient sugar mill operations, Pakistan's sugar industry has remained resilient due to its extensive irrigation system and fertile land.
7. Russian Federation
Annual output of raw sugar: 5.79 million tons
The Russian Federation, although not a traditional sugar producer due to its cold climate, has gained a solid footing in sugar beet production. Before Russia's conflict with Ukraine, Russia reduced sugar imports by encouraging domestic production. However, the country is currently facing a sugar shortage due to the disruption of commercial relations with many countries.
Annual raw sugar production: 6.18 million tons
Mexico is the world's sixth-largest sugar producer and one of the largest sugar exporters. Its sugar industry supports approximately 2 million jobs directly and indirectly. The industry has faced challenges in recent years due to sugar market volatility and low global sugar prices. However, Mexico's sugar industry is expected to remain strong due to its high domestic consumption and preferential access to the U.S. market granted by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
5. United States
Annual output of raw sugar: 7.68 million tons
Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Hawaii are the main sugar-producing states in the United States. The country's sugar industry relies on sugar cane and sugar beet crops, with nearly 55% of sugar produced from sugar beets and 45% from sugar cane. The USDA regulates sugar production in the country through Farm Bill policies, including tariff rate quotas and price support programs.
Annual output of raw sugar: 8.29 million tons
Thailand is the world's third largest sugar exporter, with the country's sugar export revenue in 2021 being US$1.57 billion. Sugar processing in Thailand faces monopoly from large sugar mills as the government supports them through incentives and policies. The Thai sugar industry also emphasizes converting bagasse, a by-product of sugar cane processing, into renewable energy.
Annual raw sugar production: 10.4 million tons
Guangxi is the center of China's sugar industry, accounting for about 60% of the country's total output. But while China is an important sugar producer, it is also one of the world's largest sugar importers due to strong domestic demand.
Annual raw sugar production: 28.9 million tons
India is the second largest sugar producer with a production of 28.9 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year. Sugar production in India mainly uses sugar cane as raw material, which is grown in two belts: the tropical areas of South India (sugar is produced throughout the year) and the subtropical areas of North India (the seasonal production cycle in this belt is from November to March) ).
Annual raw sugar production: 38.4 million tons
Brazil produces and exports the most sugar. The country's sugar production in the 2021-22 crop year is 38.4 million tonnes. Brazil has more than 10 million hectares of sugarcane planting area and naturally has abundant sugar production. The Brazilian sugar industry is also part of the bioenergy industry, as remaining sugar cane is used to produce ethanol.