Sugar producers call for price rise

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BANGKOK, 14 August 2011 – Sugar cane farmers are demanding a rise in retail prices as sugar prices in the global market are likely to remain high. 

The Cane and Sugar Board has decided to hire Thailand Development Research Institute to study the whole system of the cane and sugar industry in order to work out a proper structure of cane and sugar pricing. The first model will be completed in four months and will be submitted to the Minister of Industry Dr. Wannarat Channukul for consideration.

The move comes as the sugar prices and sugar produce in the world market are on an upward trend. In 2012, Thailand is expected to produce more than 100 million tons of cane and more than 10 million tons of sugar. Many of the operators are likely to build at least one factory each year.

The government’s decision to limit sugar prices to 23.50 THB per kilo has made Thai sugar cheaper than that produced in neighboring countries, resulting in sugar smuggling across the border.

Many farmers said the government should promote the use of ethanol as an alternative energy in order for them to earn more income. They added that the Ministry of Commerce should review sugar pricing to reflect the real production cost.