Economy, Domestic Economy
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Domestic Sugar Output Lags Behind Growing Demand

Domestic Sugar Output Lags Behind Growing DemandDomestic Sugar Output Lags Behind Growing Demand

Iranians have a sweet tooth as per capita sugar consumption stands at 33 kg per year, six times more than the global average.

This was announced by a report recently published in a pamphlet by the Persian newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad on Iran’s food industry.

That said, consumption in the US, Germany and the Netherlands is even higher than in Iran, as per capita rates are 46 kg, 37.5 kg and 37.4 kg respectively.

India, Indonesia and China have the lowest per capita sugar consumption in the world with 1.8 kg, 5.2 kg and 5.5 kg respectively.

Sugar and sugar cubes have a special place in the Iranian diet and food culture. The sugar business is also an old industry in the country.

“The 120-year-old sugar industry is Iran’s oldest industry, even older than the oil industry,” Siamak Soltani, managing director of Naghshe Jahan Sugar Company, said.

Soltani put domestic sugar production at 1.6 million tons in the last Iranian year (March 2016-17) while annual domestic demand stands between 2 million and 2.1 million tons, meaning there is need for importing 400,000-600,000.

According to Soltani, there are 40 beet sugar factories, 26 of which are active, in addition to nine sugarcane factories in Iran.

However, a large number of factories suffer from timeworn equipment or many other problems, including lack of liquidity.

He said renovation and modernization of the equipment are the main needs of this industry.

“This industry needs the government’s financial support in the form of low-interest loans to buy and renovate machinery,” he said.

Naghshe Jahan Sugar Company exported 20,000 tons of white sugar to Iraq last year.

Sugar has a major share in food intake across the world. It is a strategic product, enjoying a lively global market.

At the global scale, a world population of above 7 billion people, of which 75% (5,5 billion) are concentrated in Asia (4.4 billion) and Africa (1.1 billion), consumes roughly 173 million tons of sugar, that is 24 kg per capita on average, with the lowest level seen in the most populous continents (16.8 and 17.3 kg per capita for Africa and Asia respectively).

The highest sugar consumption is in America and Europe at 43.8 kg and 36.7 kg per capita respectively, according to Sucres & Denrees, a market leader in global sugar business.

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