Vietnam will export 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes of sugar this year to help offset a domestic surplus as supply is expected to outstrip demand, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.
Domestic refined sugar output could reach 1.57 million tonnes, above expected demand of 1.4 million tonnes, the ministry’s department for processing and trading agricultural and forestry products said.
Refineries in Vietnam would turn out 1.4 million tonnes of sugar, while 100,000 tonnes were brought forward from 2011 and another 70,000 tonnes would be imported under World Trade Organisation commitments, the department said in a statement.
“To reduce pressure on distribution and enable sugar refineries to recover funds for production, the Agriculture Ministry has agreed with the Industry and Trade Ministry on the export,” the statement said but gave no specific timeframe.
Sugar imports would start from June 2012, after the 2012 sugarcane crushing season ends in May, it said. Vietnam last year exported sugar to northern neighbour China, which had a domestic shortage.
Apart from the official inflow, Vietnam, a minor sugar producer by world standards, has also been facing problems with smuggled sugar, mostly of Thai product, across its land border with Cambodia.