THREE new sugar mills including a sugar mill with a cane crushing capacity of 10,000 tonnes will be constructed in the coming financial year 2023-2024, said U Win Htay, vice chair of Myanmar Sugar and Sugarcane Products Association.
The two sugar mills with a cane crushing capacity of 5,000 tonnes will be located in the upper Sagaing Region and one with over 10,000 tonnes will be built in the northern Shan State.
Sugarcane cultivation declined due to the low price of sugar and sugarcane in previous years. Some sugar mills cannot fully run operations. Nonetheless, the price of sugar climbed and sugarcane price also rose accordingly, said U Win Htay.
“The mills were suspended due to the lack of sugarcane supply in the previous years. For instance, the mills with a cane crushing capacity of 2,000 tonnes have to run for 100 days for 200,000 tonnes. The mills stopped working within 50 days as sugarcane is in short supply. As sugar price strength ens following the international markets, the number of mills has increased. We will opened the two more mills in Sagaing and one more in northern Shan State next FY, U Win Htay elaborated.
There are approximately 30 sugar mills in Myanmar, according to the association.
During the last 2019-2020 sugar season, sugar prices stood below K1,000 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes). At present, the price rockets to K2,500 per viss in the market.
Additionally, sugarcane will be offered at K90,000 per tonne for the upcoming sugarcane season, a sugar mill notified sugarcane growers.
For the last 2021-2022 sugarcane season, the price was quoted at K60,000 per tonne only.
This year, the offering price increased on account of the rise in sugar price, high agricultural input cost and expansion of acreage, sugar and sugarcane businesspersons said.
Despite the price hike, sugarcane growers called for better deals amid the soaring input cost and fuel price spike.
Some mills have planned to provide K200,000 per acre in advance for those growers who are interested in sugarcane cultivation due to the price rise. The plan aims to support sugar production for the 2023-2024 season.
Approximately, 450,000 acres of sugarcane covers across the country this year, with an annual production of 450,000 tonnes of sugar. Sugar was conveyed to China and Vietnam in the past years beyond self-sufficiency. Now, it is only shipped to Viet Nam, according to Myanmar Sugar and Sugarcane Products Association.
Sugarcane is commonly found in the upper Sagaing Region, followed by the northern Shan State. It is also found in the western and eastern Bago Region, Yangon Region and Mandalay Region.
The sugarcane is grown in December-January. It can be harvested from November to February of the following years. The sugarcane growing rotation cycle lasts four years in Myanmar. — NN/GNLM