Sugar Industry News : December 2016
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The world price has come back to what is a more sustainable range around 20 ¢/lb :
The debate about where we go next continues but it is clear that the current year will be well down on supply relative to consumption so a real slump is unlikely.
EGYPT EXEMPTS IMPORTS FROM DUTY
As we reported last month, sugar supply in Egypt is a mess. So much so that the government has issued a decree that sugar imports are exempt from duty until the end of May next year. It looks as if the new Al Nouran beet factory has its timing exactly right : it is due to start slicing next northern spring.
$46 MILLION LOSS AT MUMIAS
Mumias, now a publically listed company in Kenya, has reported another $46 million of losses for the year ended June 2016, more or less repeating its losses for 2015. Some are pointing to the figures as a reason to extend Kenya's exemption from free trade in sugar with the rest of COMESA but the real problems surely lie closer to home.
DURRAH REFINERY PROJECT STARTS
The Durrah sugar refinery project ['Durrah means 'pearl' in Arabic]at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia has got underway with the award of the main contract. The project has Wilmar as a major player and it has chosen its Cosumar subsidiary to act for it. We understand that the process house is an Indian company.
ROCKY POINT CONTROL ROOM FIRE
As a result of the cracks in the boiler that we reported on in this year's August news, the crop started three months late for the growers that send their cane to that factory. At the end of November the factory had a fire in its main control panel and told the growers that it wouldn't be able to crush any more cane. That makes it a double disaster for the growers.
JAMAICA CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE
The Sugar Association of the Caribbean held its annual board meeting in Jamaica last month, reporting that the group [Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica] only made 450 000 tons in 2015/16 and that Jamaica had its worst year in 35 years. On a more positive note, we do hear that Appleton will be crushing again next year although Long Pond will not.
BRAZIL TO INCREASE ETHANOL CONSUMPTION
It is reported that Brazil is going to introduce another government incentive for the bioethanol industry aimed at almost doubling ethanol usage by 2030. The current target is for 27% of all gasoline to be bioethanol, something which currently takes 28 billion litres per annum. The future target is said to be the use of 50 billion ℓ/a. The new program is being put forward as part of Brazil's Paris climate pledge but what will WTO think?
BRAZIL IN TROUBLE WITH WTO
The WTO has found against Brazil in a complaint raised by Japan and Europe over unfair subsidies to its industries although the report had not been made public by the end of last month. As a result, there is talk from the Foreign Ministry of Brazil withdrawing its complaint against Thailand's sugar support measures that we reported in last month's news.
NESTLÉ REFORMS SUGAR?
Nestlé, the Swiss sweet manufacturer [it prefers to be known as 'the Nutrition, Health and Wellness company'], has announced that it has found a way to reform the sucrose molecule so that it can reduce the sugar content of its products by 40%. No details are available because it has not yet patented the invention(s) but it seems that it does not make the molecule sweeter [in the way that sucralose does for instance], it makes it dissolve faster so that the tongue thinks that it is sweeter.