Ukraine exported 117,900 tons of sugar over September 2011 – June 2012. This is the largest export amount for the country in the last ten years, informs Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UAC). “Ukraine is capable of producing sugar that would be competitive to the global market. The country has favorable climate for growingsugar beet and leading companies which invest in increasing sugar and sugar beet production,” said Taras Vysotskyi, UAC expert.
Sugar prices stimulate sugar export – since domestic price for sugar in Ukraine is USD 625 per ton, and international – USD 650. In part, export increase is the result of the development of the sugar beet industry in the country over the last couple of years, suggested Vysotskyi.
The Ukrainian sugar industry has been growing rapidly, with the country having produced 2.33 million tons of sugar in 2011 compared to 1.54 million tons in 2010, according to sugaronline.com. In September 2011 – June 2012 Ukraine exported the largest amount of sugar to Kazakhstan – 83,000 tons, as well as Georgia (8,900 tons) and Kyrgyzstan (5,900 tons). In addition, major importers of Ukrainian sugar include Lebanon (4,450 tons over the listed period), Uzbekistan (3,987 tons), Turkmenistan (3,400 tons), and Syria (2,400 tons).
Notably, Ukraine’s annual sugar consumption amounts to 1.86 million tons, according to Mykola Yarchuk, Head of the National Association Ukrtsukor. This provides the country with export potential of 470,000 tons (as of January 2012), noted Yarchuk.
At the same time, Ukraine decreased sugar imports to 10.2 thousand tons in 2011/2012 marketing year compared to 289 thousand tons in 2010/2011 marketing year, reported Ukrtsukor website. In 2011, Ukraine imported sugar from world top sugar producer and exporter Brazil (231 thousand tons), as well as Belarus (37.5 thousand tons).
Earlier, Ukrainian agrarian minister Mykola Prysiazhniuk reckoned Ukraine could export approximately a million tons of sugar per year, earning about one billion dollars. This projected export volume is comparable to the amounts provided world’s top sugar exporters. While Brazil exports almost 18 million tons (nearly 40 percent of world sugar), other countries that export large amounts of sugar – Guatemala, India, South Africa, and Cuba – trade somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 million tons annually, according to sugarins.com.