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Sugar: production in the MedAgri region in 2012
Egypt
Morocco
Jordan
Tunisia
Region total
World
Sugar: imports to the MedAgri region in 2012
1000 tonnes
Egypt
Morocco
Jordan
Tunisia
1,175
965
505
500
Region total 3,145
Source: FAO

Sugar

Sugar
Regional sugar figures in the MedAgri region in 2012:
  • The MedAgri region produced about 2.3 million tonnes
  • Egypt was the largest producer in the MedAgri region with about 2 million tonnes (81% of total regional production)
  • The MedAgri region produced 42% of what it consumed
  • The MedAgri region imported about 3.1 million tonnes
  • Egypt was the largest importer in the MedAgri region with about 1.2 million tonnes (45% of total regional imports)
  • Domestic consumption in the MedAgri region was about 5.4 million tonnes
  • Egypt had the highest domestic consumption in the MedAgri region with about 3.2 million tonnes (62% of total regional domestic consumption)
  • Per capita consumption in the MedAgri region was about 40kg/yr


Sugar is an important source of carbohydrate in daily diets. Produced in 123 countries, it is also one of the most important agricultural commodities traded internationally. Sugar is found in the tissues of most plants but is only present in sufficient concentrations for sufficient extraction in sugarcane and sugar beet. 

Sugarcane is a tall perennial grass cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates, which supplies the raw material for 80% of the world?s supply of sugar. It takes between 11 and 18 months for the cane to produce enough sugar for the crop to be ready for harvesting and, when harvested, has a sugar content of about 12%.

Sugar beet is a root crop mainly cultivated in countries with a temperate climate and it makes about 20% of the world?s supply of sugar. It takes about 3-4 months for the sugar beet to be ready for harvesting and when harvested has a sugar content of about 15-16%. One ton of sugar beet yields 130-160kg of sugar, 500kg of wet pulp (which is dried and used for animal feed), and 38kg of molasses. The production cost of beet sugar is usually higher than the production cost of sugar cane as the former is an annual crop (when produced for processing); however sugar beet requires less water than sugar cane for cultivation.  

In the MedAgri region, Egypt and Morocco are the only two sugar producing countries. In 2011, Egypt produced 2 million tons of sugar, 68% from sugar cane and 32% from sugar beets. Morocco produced 475 thousand tons of sugar in 2011, 79% from sugar beet and 21% from sugar cane. The MedAgri region is by far a major importer of sugar, importing 2.6 million tons in 2012 (mostly from Brazil) and is used for regional foods such as Basbousa, Baklava and Kakh. Jordan and Tunisia solely rely upon imports to meet their sugar demands, although both countries demand for sugar is much lower than that in Egypt and Morocco. Total domestic consumption of sugar in the MedAgri region has increased from about 3.4 million tonnes in 2000 to about 5.4 million tones in 2013.

Source: FAO

For world and regional sugar production and trade statistics, please refer to 'Production and trade' in the resource menu below
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