A worker climbs onto a front loader beside a pile of raw cane sugar inside a storehouse at the Lafourche Sugar LLC mill in Thibodaux, Louisiana, U.S. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

India Is About to Become the World's Biggest Sugar Producer

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil, traditionally the world’s top sugar producer, is poised to cede the crown to India for the first time in 16 years.

Production in the Asian country this season may rise 5.2 percent to a record 35.9 million metric tons on increasing acreage and improving yields, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service said Tuesday in a report. Brazil’s output may tumble 21 percent to 30.6 million tons because of adverse weather and a shift to produce more cane-based ethanol.

Global production is forecast to fall 4.5 percent to 185.9 million tons, trailing the May estimate of 188.3 million, after the outlooks for Brazil, Thailand and the European Union were revised lower.

India Is About to Become the World's Biggest Sugar Producer

Brazil is expected to remain the top exporter, followed by Thailand. The marketing season runs from April to March in the South American nation and from October to September in India. Most countries run from May to April.

Global inventory is forecast to rise as “massive stock building” in India counters lower supplies in China and the EU, the USDA unit said.

Raw-sugar futures have slumped 18 percent this year in New York amid bumper crops. In 2017, the price tumbled 22 percent.

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