MECAS(12)18 – Sugar Perspectives of the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Region – English

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Publisher: International Sugar Organisation
Format: digital download (PDF), 11.7” × 16.5”
Pages: 54
Publication date: 2012
Languages: English*


The MENA region represents an important and dynamic sector of the world sugar economy. It is currently a region of structural deficit. With domestic sugar output not exceeding 4.2 mln tonnes, raw value, a year, the region has to cover more than 70% of its offtake by imports from the world market. The MENA countries account for about one fourth of the global sugar imports, which makes this the largest sugar-importing region. The MENA region, whilst historically important as a destination for white sugar, has seen a sharp increase in raw sugar imports. Currently the region, whose annual white sugar imports average at about 7 mln tonnes, is responsible for more than 40% of the global white sugar imports. Although the region's share in the total volume of raw sugar imports is considerably smaller (20.8%), during the past ten years there has also been a sharp increase in its raw sugar demand - from an average of 2.626 mln tonnes in 2001-2003 to 6.244 mln tonnes in 2009-2011- on the back of the fast growing destination refining capacities. The current study reviews recent developments and drivers of the MENA sugar market and provides projections of sugar production, consumption, and trade up to the year 2020. The paper first presents a general overview of the region's market and its importance in the world sugar economy and discusses raw sugar refining at destination in the MENA countries. Then the recent trends and prospects in sugar consumption are examined, and indicative projections for consumption growth till the end of the current decade are provided. The third part of the study is dedicated to a discussion of production trends and prospects, with a particular focus on the situation in four major sugar producing countries of the region (Egypt, Iran, Morocco, and Sudan), where about 98% of the region's sugar production is concentrated. Finally, the ISO provides a discussion of the dynamics and product structure in sugar imports and exports, as well as an assessment of the MENA's future role in the international sugar trade up to the end of the current decade. The study suggests that the net-result of continuing growth in sugar use and projected improvements in output will be an expected consolidation of net-imports at a level of about 11 mln tonnes as against 10.4 mln tonnes of net-imports in 2011. So far as import demand is concerned, a projected long-term consolidation of the overall import, a continuous growth in raw sugar demand, and growing regional intra-trade in white sugar will maintain the importance of the MENA market as a major driver of the world sugar market.

*Also available in French, Russian and Spanish


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