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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  20 October 2010

Indonesian sugar production down 25 percent

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The Indonesian government may have to import more white sugar as domestic sugar production has recently dropped 25 percent due to extreme weather.

The target for domestic production of white sugar was set at 2.5 million tons for 2010, but was revised to 2.3 million tons in September.

However, deputy to state-owned enterprises minister for primary industry Megananda Daryono said Monday that production would likely be around 1.73 million tons by the end of this year.

"The weather did not support the cultivation of good quality sugarcane. As a result, we have to import sugar from overseas to meet national demand," he said, without revealing the amount to be imported.

In early 2010 Indonesia imported 500,000 tons of sugar to fulfill domestic demand in the first five months of this year. The government imported another 400,000 tons in September to meet next year's demand ahead of the milling season in May. The amount of imported sugar was based on the assumption that domestic production would be 2.3 million tons this year.

In 2009, the government imported 250,000 tons of white sugar.

Many countries are also experiencing sugar production shortages due to unpredictable weather. As a result, sugar prices have jumped on the international market, to US$605.8 per ton in October from $500 per ton in September.

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