agriculture and fisheries

War, gas prices to halt a third of Ukraine’s sugar refineries

Reuters
War, gas prices to halt a third of Ukraine’s sugar refineries

SUGAR. Granulated white sugar and sugar cubes are seen in this picture illustration taken December 16, 2018.

Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters

European gas prices are the main reason why 10 of 32 Ukrainian sugar refineries will not start up when the new production year begins on September 1, producers say

KYIV, Ukraine – A third of Ukraine’s refineries will not operate in the coming sugar production year due to war and high gas prices, producers’ union Ukrtsukor said on Tuesday, August 16.

Ukraine produced 5 million metric tons of beet sugar in Soviet times, but production fell to 1 million metric tons due to lower demand, rising fuel prices, and competition in export markets from cheaper cane sugar.

European gas prices have reached $2,000 per 1,000 cubic meters and this is the main reason why 10 of 32 sugar refineries will not start up when the new production year begins on September 1, the union said.

Fighting in the northern, southern, and eastern regions of Ukraine has reduced the acreage planted with beets and other major crops, and the grain harvest is expected to fall to about 50 million metric tons from a record 86 million in 2021.

The agriculture ministry has said farmers sowed 180,400 hectares to sugar beet this year, allowing for the production of 1.08 million metric tons of sugar from 7.83 million metric tons of sugar beet.

Ukraine produced around 1.3 million metric tons of beet sugar in 2021.

Ukraine will have in stock around 470,000 metric tons at the start of the 2022-2023 sugar production season on September 1 and this, together with expected production, will cover both local needs and exports, the ministry said. – Rappler.com

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