Bad weather threatens to put a damper on sugar harvest

Unfavourable weather has delayed Thailand’s sugar crushing season, threatening a reduction in sugar output for the 2016/17 crop. The drop will prevent Thailand, the world’s second largest sugar exporter, from capitalising on rising global sugar prices at a time it is being challenged by Brazil over subsidies to the Thai sugar industry officials. Brazil is the world’s biggest sugar shipper. Thailand’s 2016/17 sugar crushing season began on Dec 6, a delay of one month from previous years as a longer-than-expected rainy season disrupted the harvest. The recent drought that hit Thailand early this year as well as abnormally excessive rains during the harvest period are expected to lower the commercial cane sugar (CCS). CCS measures the sweetness of sugar cane. Higher sugar content in sugar cane results in a larger sugar output, which is reflected in a higher CCS. 

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