The northern state has been doing it comparatively tough since the decline in minerals and energy prices, so news that another important market for the state is booming will be good news for embattled Premier Anna Bligh. Raw sugar prices have hit their highest level since 1981 as concerns about a massive shortage of supply grow.
In India, the largest consumer of sugar in the world and the second largest producer, poor monsoon rains have slashed output, forcing the country to rely on imports. In neighbouring Pakistan, the government has been forced to nearly double sugar prices, causing, reports the BBC, “public outrage ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan, which has now begun”. Sugar production in Pakistan has fallen to about 3.7 million tonnes this year from more than 4.5 million tonnes last year.