UK sugar production set to rise to 1.4m tonnes


The owner of British Sugar has predicted a bumper beet crop for the 2017/18 campaign, with sugar production estimated to rise from 900,000 to 1.4 million tonnes.

In a trading update released this week, Associated British Foods says: “Sugar production of 900,000 tonnes in the UK this year was abnormally low as a consequence of the reduction in the contracted growing area in order to reduce the high level of stocks brought forward from the prior year.

“EU stocks will be at a low level at the end of this marketing year and, with the abolition of quota and export restrictions from October this year, our contracted area for the 2017/18 season has been increased by a third. The crop is developing well, following recent favourable rainfall and temperatures, and the latest sugar production estimate for 2017/18 is in excess of 1.4m tonnes.

“Looking ahead to 2017/18, EU sugar prices will be below those achieved in the current year. However, the profit impact of this is expected, to some extent, to be mitigated by the higher production volumes and the benefit of euro strength against sterling on euro denominated sales.”

East Anglia’s 2017/18 sugar campaign will begin later this month, with British Sugar’s factory at Bury St Edmunds due to open on September 18, followed by the Norfolk factories at Cantley and Wissington on September 25.

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