22 Mar 2024 09:38

Astarta sees Ukraine exporting 1 mln tonnes of sugar/year

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) - Ukraine can export about 1 million tonnes of sugar per year, Ukrainian media reported the commercial director of agribusiness group Astarta, Vyacheslav Chuk as saying.

Ukrainian producers are prepared to supply sugar to countries in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia, he said. "This market is not new for us, it's traditional. After all, before 2022 we exported almost all sugar specifically to these markets," Chuk was reported as saying at a sugar conference in Dubai by the group's press service on social media.

Astarta, as one of Ukraine's largest sugar producers, is prepared to be a key exporter, he said. The group became the "first among Ukrainian companies to load and send a vessel with 3,000 tonnes of sugar to North Africa a few days ago," Chuk said.

It was reported earlier that Astarta processed 2.7 million tonnes of sugar beet at its five refineries in the 2023/2024 season and produced 377,500 tonnes of sugar, respectively 35% and 33.9% more than a year earlier.

First Deputy Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Taras Vysotsky said earlier that Ukraine produced about 1.8 million tonnes of sugar in the 2023/2024 season, and that this was "sufficient for Ukrainians' domestic needs and to ensure the necessary amount of exports."

Vysotsky recalled that domestic sugar consumption amounts to about 1 million tonnes. The maximum amount of sugar exports in the 2023/2024 marketing season (September-August), according to a memorandum with producers, is supposed to be 650,000 tonnes.

The Agrarian Policy Ministry and National Association of Sugar Producers signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2023 in which they agreed to regulate sugar exports based on a tentative balance of demand and supply.

The Ukrainian parliament's Agrarian and Land Policy Committee said earlier that the country might expand the sugar beet crop area by 10%-20% in 2024 and increase sugar production to 2 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, the European Council and European Parliament have agreed to reinforce protective measures against imports of Ukrainian agricultural products into the European Union. A new automatic safeguard will also be added for sensitive products such as poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, corn, groats and honey.

Astarta is a vertically integrated agribusiness group that includes sugar refineries, crop farms, dairy farms, an oil extraction plant, elevators and a biogas complex.