14 Jul 2009 15:02

Russia lowers imports of raw sugar

MOSCOW. July 14 (Interfax) - In the first half of 2009, imports of raw sugar to Russia went down by 20% to 813,000 tonnes, the Russian Union of Sugar Producers said.

At the same time, commercial transfer sugar reserves increased by the end of June by 24% to 1.6 million tonnes. The Union of Sugar Producers said that this was the result of a drop in sugar production largely on the part of food production enterprises.

The organization also said that wholesale prices for sugar on the domestic market since May of this year had remained unchanged and were holding at 21.60-22.1 rubles a kilogram.

Russian consumption of sugar, which was put at 6 million tonnes a year, was satisfied owing to local production and raw sugar imports. In 2008, Russia producer 5.9 million tonnes of sugar against 6.1 million tonnes produced in 2007. Production of sugar beat came to a record 3.5 million tonnes against 3.2 million tonnes. Raw sugar output went down to 2.4 million tonnes from 2.9 million tonnes. Beat sugar accounted for 59.3% of the market against in 52.8%.

This year, the Union of Sugar Producers forecasts a drop in beat sugar production since spring frost had a detrimental effect on a portion of territory sowed for its production.