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Everything overshadowed by the stop press items :
CSR SELLS TO WILMAR
Two stop press items in one month! :
CSR has sold Sucrogen, its sugar division, to Wilmar International. Wilmar is the Malaysian group which recently announced its withdrawal from the Malaya sugar industry. It is understood that Bright Food, the Chinese group, offered the same amount : watch this space!
REJECTED FOSTER-CHILD ADOPTS MOTHER THAT THREW IT OUT
On the very first day of July we have to run a stop press item :
Tate & Lyle brought the Amstar Corporation some 25 years ago, built up the Domino Sugar brand only to sell the company again 15 years later to the Fanjuls who, at that stage, just owned the Yonkers refinery. The company today is ASR which has also absorbed C&H and Redpath [which it brought a few years back from T&L].
T&L has now announced that it is selling its remaining sugar business to ASR. The main elements of the business are the Thames and Plaistow refineries in London and the Alcantara refinery in Lisbon plus the associated trade names.
The news was full of contradictory stories last month about supply [mainly] and demand but the world price seems to have bounced off the bottom and looked to be going back through 17 ¢/lb as we went to press in early July :
CSR AND BRIGHT FOODS
As late as June 25 the news was that ‘a senior executive’ of bright Foods was meeting with CSR to close the deal to buy Sucrogen, the CSR sugar division. At the time the price appeared to have come off the peak of Aus$ 1.75 billion by 100 million. Both sides were reported to be optimistic about reaching a deal.
Just as we are waiting to hear that the Akras refinery near Homs is being commissioned, the country’s General Organization for Sugar has announced a doubling of the local beet crop : this year’s production is expected to reach 160 000 tons of sugar compared to only 72 000 last year.
It looks as though Cargill has approval to build a ‘sugar refinery’ in Egypt but close to Alexandria, not in Damietta as originally indicated. What is not clear [and as usual Cargill itself is saying nothing] is whether this really is a refinery or whether it is beet factory. The reported budget is $70 million.
Following last month’s news page when we told you that Illovo had decided to proceed with the on/off project in Mali, the company has now confirmed its intention to proceed, reporting that its pre-project activities are ‘at an advanced stage’. It is expecting to have the project locked down in the second half of this year so in production in calendar 2012.
Kenana has been shouting again about the success of its White Nile project but we hear that it hasn’t been able to pay FCB for the process house – despite having paid that company for all of the engineering – so it has now purchased a process house from India’s ISGEC. That company was already involved as the suppliers of the boilers.
It looks as if the heyday of the Mauritian industry are over : this year’s crop is predicted to be only 450 000 tons. It feels like only a few year’s ago that the EU was granting the island extra quota so that it could export 650 000 to the community.
Following on from the above, an EU official was quoted last month as saying that it saw no problem in finding enough raw sugar for the community’s refineries. What he didn’t say was the sugar had to be from a qualifying duty-free source to make economic sense, as anybody responsible for finding such raws will tell you, it isn’t easy. The situation should improve with the introduction of quotas for Peru and Columbia totalling 160 000 tons each year.
Brazil is reporting very high sucrose contents in the Central South region following a spell of cold, dry weather : at least 14%. The current prediction is that the crop will produce 34.1 million tons of sugar and 27.4 billion litres of ethanol.
EXPORT COGENERATION PLANTS FOR SALE
In our April news we told you that the New South Wales coop was in trouble with its export cogeneration projects. It has now formally put the two units, one at Broadwater and one at Condong, up for sale but freely admits that the problem will be the price it needs to pay off the loans used to build them. The ultimate cause of the economic failure of the projects seems to be a crash in the value of the carbon credits brought about by the federal government’s support for small scale domestic solar power.