Sugar is a bulk commodity produced from sugarcane or sugar beets. Sugarcane grows best in tropical areas whereas sugar beet is produced in temperate zones.
Once harvested, cane or beet is crushed to extract juice. This juice can be utilized to produce sugar or ethanol. In the case of sugarcane, the remaining vegetable matter (bagasse) can be burned to produce energy to run the plant and supply the local grid.
To produce sugar, the extracted juice is purified and the mixture is then dehydrated and thickened into syrup which is crystallized. The crystals are separated from the remaining liquid to produce molasses and raw sugar, which is then sent to refineries for further processing.
It is not possible to store sugarcane as it loses sugar content. As a result, raw sugar is typically processed in the growing area and exported from there.