• Pakistan had 112% more rain than usual last month, which improved yields after a dry July.
  • This means it should produce 5.1m tonnes of sugar in 2020/21, up 300k tonnes year-on-year.
  • The increase also comes as many former cotton farmers now plant sugarcane to earn more money.

Cotton Farmers Switch to Cane

  • We think Pakistan will produce 5.1m tonnes of sugar in 2020/21, up from 4.8m tonnes this season.
  • This comes as cotton recently suffered its worst crop in ten years, due to pest infestations and erratic weather, including heavy rain and fluctuating temperatures.
  • Sugarcane is a more resilient crop in such conditions and offers greater returns, which is helpful.

Pakistan Shrouded with Much-Needed Rain in August

  • July marked the start of Pakistan’s monsoon, but this year, rainfall was 34% below average across the month.
  • Fortunately, it was 112% above average in August, which made up for July’s dry spell.
  • This was a relief for farmers as July, August and September are key months for cane growth, making any rain here good for yields.
  • The Sindh province, which accounts for 35% of Pakistan’s production, had 362% more rain than usual in August, which was supportive for agricultural yields.

Locusts Still Threaten Cane Crop Outlook

  • Pakistan managed to keep the first breed of locusts under control in southern Sindh.
  • This took 1,000 teams, 750 vehicles and 6,000 staff members to contain the situation.
  • With summer breeding on the horizon, more locusts could arrive at the end of September, but mirroring the above operation will be costly for Pakistan, given how hard it has had to work to keep its economy afloat throughout the pandemic.
  • However, a half-hearted attempt could be crippling for next season’s production.
  • The swarms are currently bordering Tharparkar, Pakistan and Gujarat (India).
    • Gujarat is not a key sugar-producing state, meaning there’s little need to panic.


Other Opinions You May Be Interested In…