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Zambia Sugar to reduce EU exports

KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
ZAMBIA Sugar Company is reducing its sugar exports into the European Union (EU) to the regional markets in view of the sugar reforms in the EU to be effected in September next year.
Meanwhile, Zambia Sugar is this month-end expected to commission the over K500 million refinery, projected to more than double sugar production to 90,000 tonnes annually, reaffirming the company’s position as the largest producer in Africa.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ breakfast meeting yesterday, Zambia Sugar Company managing director Rebecca Katowa said the company which will this year reduce sales to the EU to 14 percent, from 22 percent last year, as it explores regional markets, both traditional and new markets.
This follows the sugar reforms that have impacted on the sugar regime and resulted in prices in the EU converging into global prices.
The prices are below the cost of production and reflect residual markets and key players, namely Brazil, Thailand, and India, who put sugar on that market with India’s sugar being subsided.
“The strategy is to move volumes away from the EU to regional markets because the regional market provides valuable alternatives.”
“Shifting export sales away from the EU to the region, is expected because realisations in these markets will continue to be influenced by exchange rate movements,” she said.
Mrs Katowa said prices of sugar are expected to remain above world levels within the region despite increasing levels of competition among regional producers.
She said the company is looking at expanding exports to the Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of Congo among other markets.
On the sugar refinery, the company will produce about 90,000 tonnes of sugar from the current 40,000 tonnes.
“The project was launched last year and will be on stream at the end of the month and contribute to our growth strategy,” she said.

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