Sugar Technology
On-line News

October 2012

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A very typical month :


The world price continued to hover around the 20 to 21 ¢/lb mark for most of the month but, as we say below, it all depends on what the rains do or don’t do in Brazil as we move towards the end of the crop.


The 2011 campaign was good for the Ukraine with output up by 50% on 2010 at 2.33 million tons. The country’s demand is estimated at between 1.8 and 1.9 million tons and the data shows that about 160 000 tons was exported last year.


The Nigerian Federal Government has announced a ‘Sugar Master Plan’ which claims will create 170 000 jobs, reduce sugar imports by $350 million, produce 161 000 m³ of ethanol and 400 MW of electrical export. Somehow we find this rather a pipedream but you never know.


The province of South Darfur in the Sudan has announced plans to build a 4 500 or 5 000 tcd factory. Whether it happens or not is another matter as the province is unlikely to have any money of its own to invest so would be relying on the central government.


Time was when Ethiopia turned to India for its projects [and then elsewhere to put things right] but since the Tendaho debacle it seems to have turned its attention elsewhere : it says it has signed agreements with China for two factories as part of its ambitious expansion plan which is now said to be lasting until 2025.


Did you know that Rwanda has a sugar factory? Its called Kabuye and produces about 10 000 tons of crystal a year while the country consumes about 50 000 tons. The government has now announced plans to establish a second factory in the eastern province but no details are yet available other than researchers from Mauritius are working on the project.


There is mounting pressure for change to the Indian sugar regime where the millers are forced to sell a percentage of their production to the government for distribution to the poor. The problem is that the purchase price has remained static for many years whilst the cost of cane and hence sugar production has risen considerable. Some are suggesting that the millers should get the market price for the sugar.


Fiji may have suffered badly from the floods earlier this year but the water seems to have done well for the crop that survived. Fiji Sugar is estimating an increase of of 20 000 tons of sugar year on year despite losing 400 000 tons of cane in the floods with 9.44 tcts.


A US company called Patriot Bioenergy is planning an ethanol plant based on transgenic [‘Roundup Ready’] beets in Kentucky. At this stage of the game it is saying that it will only produce ethanol but once transgenic beets become more widely accepted as a source of crystal sugar, who knows?


Western Sugar in the US is expecting a very good campaign and is planning an early start at all of its factories because both the agricultural beet yield and the sucrose content are predicted to be high at 78 t/ha and 19% sucrose. Michigan Sugar is making similar noises about the quality of this crop.


Cuba finally seems to be ready to accept foreign investment in its sugar industry with government owned company Azcuba announcing plans [without being specific] to build an electrical export station at the Ciro Redondo factory. Watch this space!


Jamaica’s data for the crop which finished in July have just been released : slightly worse than last year and therefore well below budget. Cane was 11% down on budget but the production was 15% down.


There seems to be a contamination problem with a 14 000 ton cargo of sugar imported into the Dominican Republic from Brazil a couple of months ago. Although it has been declared unfit for human consumption it looks as if the contamination is sand and perhaps bagacillo rather than a poison.


Impressive statistics from Brazil’s Centre South show that the region has fully recovered from the disastrous start to the crop but it is still about 9% down on the overall crop. Everything now depends on the rains not coming early at the end of the crop if standing cane is to be avoided.

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