In recent days, the domestic sugar price has increased sharply, making many farmers in Phung Hiep District in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, the largest sugarcane growing area in the Mekong Delta, hope for a sweet sugarcane crop.
The office of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), on the morning of June 16, informed that the ministry had decided to apply anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures to some cane sugar products originating from Thailand.
The prerequisite for the maintenance and sustainable development of the sugar industry is to ensure the stability of the raw material area. However, in recent years, the raw material area has seen an alarming decrease. According to experts, it is essential to have radical solutions for the domestic sugar industry to develop sustainably and be strong enough to compete.
From 2020, Vietnam implements the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) to reduce import tariffs on sugar. Domestic sugar refineries were happy that when the official import of sugar increases, they can compete and restrict smuggled sugar. However, the joy did not last long, imported sugar is cheaper than domestically-produced one, making many sugar refineries continue to suffer losses, and farmers stop growing sugarcane.
The Vietnam Sugarcane and Sugar Association (VSSA) informed that there is enough evidence of dumping of imported sugar in the Vietnamese market, causing dozens of sugar refineries to close or halt operation. In the coming time, there will be more sugar refineries to suffer the same situation.
Farmers in the Mekong Delta have started to harvest raw material sugarcane from the beginning of October. However, up to now, the remaining three factories in the region have not operated yet. Currently, farmers mainly sell sugarcane for traders to resell to sugarcane juice vendors. Ironically, both farmers who sell sugarcane early to benefit from high prices and those who have not harvested sugarcane yet want to give up sugarcane to switch to other crops.
Sugarcane farmers in the Mekong Delta Province of Hau Giang are joyous because traders from Can Tho City and Ho Chi Minh City have been offering higher prices for their produce, said Tran Van Tuan, Head of the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development in Phung Hiep District, today.
In recent days, although it is entering the new crop of sugarcane, many farmers in the Mekong Delta provinces have chopped down thousands of hectares of sugarcane due to ineffective and loss-making production to switch to grow other crops.
According to the Vietnam Sugarcane and Sugar Association (VSSA), the country produced 1.47 million tons of sugar in the 2017-2018 crop and in the 2018-2019 crop, the production dropped to 1.17 million tons with the area of sugarcanes reducing by 30-60 percent compared to the previous years and 17 out of 30 sugar refineries suffering losses.
Hundreds farmers in Phung Hiep District of Hau Giang Province in the Mekong Delta are on pins and needles as their sugarcane fields have been submerged under water for several days due to floods and high tides.
Farmers in the Mekong Delta are anxious before entering the harvest of sugarcanes as several sugar refinery plants were closed due to losses while the remaining ones offered extremely low prices for sugarcanes.