Sugar has been produced in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. It was not plentiful or cheap in early times and honey was more often used for sweetening in most parts of the world. Originally, people chewed raw sugarcane to extract its sweetness. Sugarcane was a native of tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Refined sugar is widely used for industrial needs for higher quality. Refined sugar is purer (ICUMSA below 300) than raw sugar (ICUMSA over 1,500).The level of purity associated with the colors of sugar, expressed by standard number ICUMSA (International Commission for Uniform Methods of sugar Analysis), the smaller ICUMSA numbers indicate that higher purity of sugar.
The five largest producers of sugar were Brazil, India, the European Union, China and Thailand.
The largest importers were the European Union, United States and Indonesia.