African sugar production is expected to rise to 12-million tonnes in 2014/15 from 11.5-million tonnes in 2013/14, as a result of expansions in Ethiopia and Sudan, says the International Sugar Journal’s (ISJ’s) 2015 World Sugar Outlook.
The report attributes the rise in sugar production on the continent to significant investment in some countries aimed at raising self-sufficiency and capitalising on improved and preferential access to the European Union market.
It adds that some new projects have already come on line, while others are still under construction or in the ramp-up phase of installing new capacity.
In South Africa, for instance, sugar production in 2014/15 was affected by dryness after output rose to a nine-year high in 2013/14. The study highlights that output in 2015/16 is expected to recover at 2.5-million tonnes from 2.4-million tonnes in 2013/14.
In Egypt, sugar output remains unchanged at 2.1-million tonnes, with about half of the sugar produced from beet, and the other half produced from cane. The study says cane expansion possibilities are limited in the country, though there is investment in beet sugar production and refining capacities, which may lead to an increase in output in the coming years.
In Sudan, the new White Nile sugar factory, in El Diwaym, was inaugurated in July 2012 following several delays. ISJ’s report details that ramp-up of production at the facility has not yet had a sizeable impact on the country’s total output and that output decreased slightly to 693 000 t in 2013/14, with a modest rise to 800 000 t factored in for 2014/15.
Zimbabwe’s sugar industry continues to recover as sugar producer Tongaat Hulett raised output for the fourth consecutive year in 2013/14, after the industry bottomed out in 2009/10. The report predicts that output is likely to rise further in 2014/15 as improved rainfall has aided crop development.
Zambia’s cane yields in 2014/15 are expected to improve after the previous season’s disappointing result, given this year’s favourable growing conditions and the benefit of a stable power supply in terms of irrigation optimisation.
Sugar producer Zambia Sugar started crushing in the last week of March and output is expected to reach a new record of 440 000 t. A similar output level is assumed for 2015/16.
Mozambique’s sugar industry is expected to produce about 425 000 t of sugar in 2014/15, up from 414 200 t last year, owing to a recovery in cane yields.
Lastly, the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation announced that expansion projects at three existing mills have been completed, with the first of seven new planned mills – Tendaho – starting trial production this month.
While most of the mills will only become operational from 2015/16 onwards, sugar output is provisionally projected to rise to 500 000 t in 2014/15 from 355 000 t a year ago, concludes the report.