BANGKOK Nov 29 Thailand, the world's second
biggest sugar exporter, will have around 7 million tonnes
available for shipment next year after setting aside 2.3 million
tonnes for domestic consumption, the Office of the Cane and
Sugar Board (OCSB) said on Thursday.
The 2012/13 harvest started on Nov. 15 and around 56,000
tonnes of sugar has been produced so far.
"We forecast 2012/13 output at 9.4 million tonnes. There
should be around 7 million tonnes left for exports next year,"
Somsak Suwattiga, the OCSB's secretary-general, told Reuters.
Thailand normally allocates 2.2 million to 2.4 million
tonnes for the home market, known as Quota A sugar, and the rest
Thailand exported a record 6.71 million tonnes in 2011 and
is expected to ship around 7.7 million tonnes in 2012, according
to traders and industry officials.
Traders said they expected Thai exports to remain strong as
demand was good, especially in Asia.
"I'm not worried about selling sugar next year as there are
buyers everywhere, especially in Asia," said one Bangkok-based
Traders said strength in demand after prices dipped had
encouraged major buyers, such as China, to build up stocks.
New York raw sugar futures for March delivery fell
0.07 cent to settle at 19.16 cents per lb on Wednesday.
That was about half the 30-year high of 36.08 cents per lb hit
in February 2011.
Between January and August, Thailand exported 6.5 million
tonnes of sugar, up 18 percent from the same period last year,
when it sold 5.5 million tonnes.
The rise in exports was largely due to Chinese buying,
China has bought around 934,000 tonnes of sugar from
Thailand so far this year, almost four times more than the
roughly 239,000 tonnes in the same period last year, OCSB data
(Reporting by Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat; Editing by Alan
Raybould and Clarence Fernandez)