October 02, 1998

The just released annual Statistical Profile of the Canadian Sugar Industry provides a 20-year review of Canadian sugar market trends. Below are some of the highlights.

  • Canadian production of refined sugar reached 1.15 million tonnes in 1997. This is close to the 1977 level. Production has shown limited growth over the last 20 years, given the relatively fixed size of the Canadian market and global trade barriers.
  • Eighty-two percent (82%) of Canadian shipments went to food manufacturers and 18% went directly to the retail market. This compares to a 73% - 27% split in 1977 when there was more at-home food preparation, such as baking and preserving using sugar.
  • Sugar continues to be used in a wide range of food categories. The most recent reported use by food manufacturers is shown below.

Sugar Use by Food Industry

Bakery 7.5
Biscuit 6.8
Canners/Frozen 11.2
Cereal 6.4
Confectionery 17.6
Dairy 10.3
Soft Drinks 17.4
Wine/Other 22.7
  • Australia continues to be the leading supplier of raw sugar to Canada, accounting for 60% of raw sugar imports for refining. However, South and Central American countries, such as Brazil and Guatemala, have become significant suppliers since 1996 when the Canadian government granted duty-free access for raw sugar from developing countries.
  • Exports continue to be extremely limited, given a variety of US trade restrictions imposed beginning in 1982. In 1997, exports represented less than 2% of Canadian shipments compared to 11% in 1977.
  • Beet sugar production in Canada was down in 1997 due to the closure of Rogers Winnipeg plant. The plant relied on exports to the US for 60% of its production.
  • Sugar disappearance (Canadian and import shipments) was approximately 38.5 kg per person in 1997. Actual sugar consumption (i.e. after deducting non-food uses, loss in fermentation, wastage, etc.) is estimated at less than 75% of disappearance.