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Sugarcane price doubles as cultivation declines   2009-09-24 - Thanh Nien

A shortage of sugarcane has doubled the price sugar mills in the Mekong Delta must pay for their raw material compared with last year, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday, without citing sources.

As their production season starts in early October, the mills are buying cane for VND650,000 to VND780,000 (US$36-44) per ton, twice that a year ago.

The area under sugar cultivation for the 2009-10 crop in the Mekong Delta will be 52,500 hectares, or 12,500 hectares less than the previous crop.

The 3.8 million tons of cane it yields will meet only 21 percent of the sugar mills’ demand, according to the national news agency.

Nationwide, the sugarcane area for the 2008-09 crop that just ended was 270,600 hectares, down 36,000 hectares from the previous crop, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said.

The shrinking sugarcane area is causing domestic and global sugar prices to rise.

According to the Vietnam Sugar Association, sugar prices in Vietnam have only gone up by 65 percent this year and currently range from VND15,500 to VND16,000 per kilogram.

In London, white sugar for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to US$580.90 a metric ton at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday local time, Bloomberg reports.

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