Reuters – Sugar imports from Indonesia and other countries rose last year to an all-time high of 2.3 billion tonnes, making it the world the second-largest importer of the sweetener, according to an analysis of data by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
In the U.S., which has been the biggest supplier to the world, imports of sugar jumped 18 percent to 3.9 billion tonnes last year, according a Bloomberg survey of data from industry-backed data company IBISWorld.
Indonesia, India and other Asian countries were the largest suppliers in the world.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said the surge in sugar imports could help feed a global hunger for more calories.
“There is an urgent need for improved food security and improved nutrition,” said the FAO’s secretary-general, Margaret Chan.
“This is a key part of the FAOs 2030 Agenda, which aims to ensure that the sustainable growth and development of the world is linked to increased food security.”
The FAO has pledged to create a global food security strategy by 2030.
The food crisis has affected countries from South America, the Caribbean and Africa, where a record-breaking 5.5 billion people are malnourished, to the U,S.A., where some 7 million people are overweight and half of the U’s population of 2 billion are obese.
More than half of all deaths in the United States are attributed to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The FAOs report also showed a sharp decline in imports from Mexico.
Imports rose to 3 billion tonnes in 2017 from 2.4 billion tonnes a year earlier, a 10 percent decline, with imports from the country falling by a fifth.