The Vietnam Sugar and Sugarcane Association (VSSA) is calling for help from the government as many of its members are facing bankruptcy.
Sugarcane farmers in the Mekong Delta region
In a document sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the association proposed the prime minister to postpone the implementation of ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) on Vietnamese sugar products scheduled to take effect from January 1, 2020.
According to the VSSA, its sugar plants face tighter lending policies. Many can’t even afford to pay farmers for sugarcane.
To date, lots of the association’s companies have incurred great losses and face a high risk of bankruptcy.
By late March, all of 36 sugar plants nationwide produced a total 750,000 tonnes of different kinds of sugar and 150,000 tonnes of refined sugar from imported raw sugar.
However, sugar consumption has slowed due to the big stockpiles accumulated from the previous year. Sugar prices are therefore lower, sold at roughly VND10,500 (45.6 US cent) per kilo of refined sugar.
Meanwhile, sugarcane productivity has plummeted, particularly in the central, Central Highlands and Mekong Delta regions. The VSSA forecasted that the sugarcane production in the 2018-2019 crop would be just 14 million tonnes and the sugar productivity of around 1.3 million tonnes, equal to the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 crops.
Amid the situation, the import of high-fructose corn syrup into Vietnam has been on the sharp rise, up to 140,000 tonnes last year, triple that of 2014.
Nguoi Lao Dong/Dtinews