Africa Sugar Digest, Vol. I, No 12, June 2010

Sudan: Kenana Sugar to double production within a year

Sudan’s Kenana Sugar Company expects to increase its raw sugar capacity to 700,000 tonnes from 400,000 tonnes within a year, as it launches a new White Nile project, a company official said during an ISO meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The expansion program aims at adding some 250,000-300,000 tonnes in the first phase and another 550,000 tonnes two years later. Production is expected to be refined locally and reduce imports, and there is also the possibility of selling in the Middle East region. Kenana also produces 65 million litres of ethanol from molasses, all shipped to the European Union; and it plans to increase production to 200 million of ethanol within three years.

Kenana’s shareholders include the Sudanese government with 35.63 percent stake, the Kuwait Investment Authority with 30.5 percent, and the government of Saudi Arabia with 10.92 percent, local papers added.

Mali: Illovo Sugar’s plans on track

South Africa-based Illovo Sugar is at an advanced stage in its pre-project activities to establishing a sugar estate in Mali. Approvals for funding the project are expected in the second half of the year, which will facilitate the start of the cane development programs, with the factory being completed two years later. The Mali government is a partner in the project which will develop 14,500 hectares.

Algeria: Cevital doubles processing capacity

Cevital has more than doubled its annual refining capacity to 1.65 million tonnes, said the director of its Bejala refinery, located to the east of Algiers. Cevital is reckoned as the largest sugar refiner in North Africa, shipping to the Gulf region and the Middle East, in addition to Italy, Switzerland, Bangladesh and Tunisia. Cevital imports raw sugar mostly from Brazil.

Mauritius: 2010 production fall forecasted

Mauritian sugar production in 2010 is estimated to fall to 450,000 tonnes from 467,234 tonnes in 2009, because of a reduced area under cultivation and poor weather, said a report by the Chamber of Agriculture. Small-scale farmers are facing severe problems to continue growing cane, which translate into the industry losing an annual average of 2,200 hectares of land. While large-scale estates are able to mechanise and reduce labour costs, while embarking in diversification programs such as electricity and ethanol, the small-scale farmers have no many possibilities open to them.

Additional concerns are the depreciation of the Euro and competition for land. The Euro has lost value in recent times, meaning lower income in rupees. The Chamber said that the industry got 17,421 rupees per tonne of sugar in 2008, but in 2010 it expects the price to fall by about 25 percent to 13,000 rupees. A break-even price, the Chamber added, is 15,000 rupees (USD 440.00). On the other hand, a boom in the construction of luxury villas before the global financial crisis increased competition for land, and small-scale farmers were opting for selling their lands instead of staying in the sector.

Kenya: Privatisation requires multimillion dollar investment

The chief executive officer of the Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) has been quoted by local papers as saying that the divestment of five sugar estates requires some 55 billion Kenyan shillings (USD 656 million) to clear debts, modernise factories before privatisation and improve irrigation systems. The papers added that the CEO said the industry has a deficit of 8 million tonnes of cane, and that KSB is encouraging farmers to introduce early-maturing cane varieties to increase production. She is also quoted as saying that given the poor state of the industry, it might not continue in operation after the COMESA safeguards are removed in 2012.

Morocco: Imports estimated at 750,000 tonnes in 2010/11

Morocco might import between 750,000-760,000 tonnes of raw sugar in the coming year after flooding affected the domestic production, which will probably fall by some 10,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes, said a spokesperson for Cosumar, the country’s largest sugar producer.  The country is investing some USD 390 million in the improvement of farming and processing operations, aiming to supply some 55 percent of the domestic market (up from 45 percent) by 2013. Morocco consumes 1.2 million tonnes of sugar per year, and imported some 730,000 tonnes in 2008, all as Brazilian raws.

Tongaat Hulett reports growing profits

South Africa-based conglomerate Tongaat Hulett reported a 28 percent increase in profits to ZAR 1.7 billion in the 15 months ending March 2010, compared to the previous period; continuing a trend of growing profits which began in 2003. Tongaat said that the period in question saw a positive combination of raising global demand for agricultural products, food, renewable energy and land usage, while starch and glucose sales drove the South African market, followed by land and property development, and downstream sugar products.

The sugar milling, refining and agriculture operations in South Africa contributed ZAR 158 million to profits, despite production having fallen to 564,000 tonnes from 644,000. Profits in Swaziland were ZAR 63m, compared to ZAR 56m in the previous period; while Mozambique’s profits were ZAR 192m down from ZAR 301m.  The company also benefited from the recovery of the Zimbabwean operations, with profits reaching ZAR 576m as, the company said, economic fundamentals were reintroduced in the national economy and the group’s business. (USD 1.00=ZAR 7.65)


Africa Sugar Digest is produced thanks to the IUF Global Sugar project in East and Southern Africa. It appears as news becomes available. Contributions are welcome. The IUF African sugar project is supported by the Social Justice Fund of the Canadian Auto Workers (SJF-CAW), with contribution from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the Labour International Development Program of the Canadian Labour Congress (LIDP-CLC).

Africa Sugar Digest, Vol. I, No 12, June 2010 – click to download –

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