Factory and Making

Modern sugar production has progressed in leaps and bounds, and technology has replaced slave labor. Thailand has been at the forefront of development in the sugar industry for many years, sequencing the sugar cane genome, developing over 100 strains of sugar cane, and devising milling and refining methods that are so advanced that mills and refineries are often able to sell excess energy back on to the national grid rather than pay for power with which to conduct their operations.

Thailand was also the inventor of VHP raw sugar, a raw sugar product with a minimum sucrose content of 99.4% . Prior to the invention of VHP raw sugar, raw cane juice would be boiled or evaporated until all that was left was a dark brown natural sugar product full of contaminants and mixed with molasses. This raw sugar required a great deal of processing to refine it into the sparkling white ICUMSA 45 sugar which has gained dominion throughout most of the developed world as a sweetener of choice.

VHP sugar, on the other hand, is made by processing the raw cane juice by boiling it until the solution is concentrated enough for sucrose crystals to form, allowing the juice to cool so that the crystals do form, and then centrifuging the solution and the crystals. During the centrifugal process, the crystals are separated from the remaining liquid content, which is molasses. The molasses drawn off in the first centrifugal process are called ‘first molasses’, and still contain a significant amount of sugar. These molasses are then put through the entire process once more. The sugar crystals produced at each stage of the process are a light brown color and are what is called ‘VHP sugar’.

Though still raw, they contain less contamination, and can be refined much more quickly and easily than traditional raw sugar. It is no surprise then that the bulk of Thailand’s sugar exports are in the form of VHP sugar.



Sugar in containers 20 Icumsa 45 – 100 – 150 Max. 26 m/tons package: Polybags 50 kilos 520 polybags per unit

Sugar Icumsa 45 – 100 and 150

In Break Bulk vessel
Package: polybags 50 kilos
Vessel Qty:
12.500 m/tons
25.000 m/tons
50.000 m/tons

Raw sugar – Icumsa 800 – 1200

Bulk cargo
Only in bulk vessel

Vessel Qty:

12.500 m/tons
25.000 m/tons
50.000 m/tons

Raw sugar in containers 20

Only in big bags 1 m/ton or 2 m/tons
Max. wheight 20 m/tons with 20 big bags per unit


Procedures for Sugar Spot:

  • Buyer issues ICPO and BCL (ICPO endorsed by bank officer)
  • Seller approves ICPO and sends the Draft Contract
  • Buyer / Seller sign the Contract
  • Buyer opens non-operative SBLC or MT 103 to seller bank
  • Seller issues POP to turn operative the financial instrument
  • Shipments starts as per contract terms.

Procedures for Sugar Contracts:

  • Buyer issues LOI and BCL
  • Seller issues FCO
  • Buyer returns FCO signed / stamped
  • Seller approves and sends the Draft Contract
  • Buyer // Seller sign the Contract
  • Buyer opens non-operative BG or SBLC to seller bank
  • Seller issues Performance Bond Guarantee 2% and POP to turn operative the financial instrument
  • Shipments starts as per contract terms.

A giant in the world of sugar, Thailand is currently one of the largest sugar producing nation in the world. In 2006 it produced thirty million tonnes of sugar, which made up 20% of the world’s total sugar production. Of that 30 million tonnes of sugar, Thailand exported millions tonnes of sugar to other nations, which comprised almost 40% of the sugar traded in the world that year. So powerful is Thailand when it comes to sugar that fluctuations of sugar production in Thailand alone can affect world sugar prices substantially, and should Thailand choose to do so, some say that it could be possible for Thailand to swamp the world market with cheap sugar. Though this is unlikely for many reasons, it has happened that in the past high levels of sugar production in Thailand resulted in a significant tumble in world sugar prices. In 2002, for instance, Thailand’s bumper sugar crop sent world prices plummeting to below five cents per pound.

Setting the standard which other types of sugar are measured against, ICUMSA 45 sugar is the world’s leading consumer sugar. A highly refined sugar product, it is easily recognizable by its distinctive sparkling white color and pure sucrose taste. ICUMSA 45 is perpetually in high demand as it is the safest form of sugar, due to the fact that the refining process by which it is created removes the bacteria and contaminants often present in raw sugars which can pose a threat to human health.

But what does ‘ICUMSA 45′ actually mean? ICUMSA is an acronym for the International Commission For Uniform Methods Of Sugar Analysis, an international regulatory body which sets the standard for sugar analysis tests thereby creating a system which can be used anywhere on the globe to accurately and quickly describe the properties of sugar. This is an essential system due to the fact that the sugar trade is a global one, and often buyers and sellers will be operating in completely different parts of the world, not to mention sometimes contending with a language barrier which can complicate negotiations. The ICUMSA ratings method allows a meaningful and accurate description of the product which can be easily understood by interested parties no matter where they come from.