The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is an economic engine for the country, according to data from the Bank of Guatemala in 2021 exports of sugar and its byproducts represented 5% of the country’s total exports.
In this way, sugar and its byproducts, molasses and alcohol, are placed as the second largest agro-industrial export product in Guatemala and one of the main products exported by the country.
Worldwide, Guatemalan Sugar is the sixth largest exporter and the ninth producer of sugarcane in the world. And in Latin America and the Caribbean it is the third largest exporter and producer of sugarcane.
In addition, Guatemala is the 3rd country with the highest productivity among the sugar producing countries, thanks to the work of the Guatemalan Sugarcane Research and Training Center -Cengicaña- which has developed sugarcane varieties that have a high sucrose content with which get more sugar on less cultivated land.
Main Export Destinations
The five main countries to which Guatemala exported in 2021 were the United States, Ivory Coast, Canada, Taiwan, and Chile.
Detailed by continent, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry exports were as follows: America with 49%, Africa with 18%, Asia with 24%, Europe with 8% and Oceania with 1%.
Molasses, another residue of sugar production, up to 55 million gallons of alcohol are produced each year, most of which are exported. According to data from the Bank of Guatemala in 2021, 72.4% went to the United States; 13.9% to the United Kingdom; 5.5% to Guyana; 5.1% to the Netherlands and 3% to Canada.
Guatemalan ethanol is used for cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, liquor production and as a fuel. The five main countries where this product was exported in 2021 were: the Netherlands 49.4%, the United States and its territories 19.8%, Mexico 11.7%, Switzerland 10.9% and El Salvador 8.8%.