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Sugar production record high in Belarus in 2011

MINSK, 27 January (BelTA) – In 2010-2011 Belarus produced 600,000 tonnes of sugar from sugar beets, which is a record high, chairman of Belgospishcheprom Ivan Danchenko told reporters.

“In 2009-2010 we made 412,000 tonnes of sugar. This season we expect nearly 600,000 tonnes. This is the highest amount of sugar production we have manufactured in recent years,” Ivan Danchenko said.
The season of sugar beet processing is coming to an end. Slutsk Sugar Plant is the last to wrap it up. Sugar content of beets was 16.8%, whereas last season it was under 14.6%. Owing to the high harvest of beets, production of sugar increased nearly 1.5 times.

In 2011, some 446,000 tonnes of sugar was sold domestically. This is significantly higher than a year earlier. The average annual sugar consumption is 350,000-360,000 tonnes (36 kg per person). But in view of the increased production of sugar-containing products and products with higher value added (jams, jellies, marmalade), the consumption of sugar rose to 380,000-400,000 tonnes on the domestic market.

The official said that this season Russia will receive big amounts of beet feedstock (it is supplied with beet sugar almost until a new harvest). Ukraine has also a huge export potential for sugar and beet – nearly 2 million tonnes. “That is why it will be not easy to secure a footing on the foreign market and find new buyers. We are interested in increasing sugar supplies to the domestic market to produce import-substituting sugar products and hence reduce the import,” Ivan Danchenko believes.

Moreover, in his words, sugar prices on the outer market have plunged. For instance, in December 2010 Kazakhstan bought sugar at $1,000 per tonne. Today the price is $600. Russia sold at $950 per tonne in 2010. Today the price is $600-660.

Proceeding from business calculations, Belarus is set to import only 200,000 tonnes of raw sugar in order to meet the needs of the domestic market and the market of the Russian Federation.

This year Belarus will export 200,000 tonnes of sugar to Russia. Belarus also supplies Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, Moldova, Georgia. The total sugar export will make up 400,000 tonnes, Ivan Danchenko said. According to Belgospishcheprom, over the eleven months of 2011 sugar exports reached 348,800 tonnes ($328.9 million).