Europe may witness more sugar factory closures

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More European sugar mills will shut as companies are left with no option but to slash costs after a fall in prices since the end of EU production quotas wiped out profits, said French sugar group Cristal Union’s chief executive Alain Commissaire on 6 June, 2019.

Europe’s sugar industry received a setback after the collapse in sugar prices following surplus sugar output due to European Union decision to abolish production quotas in 2017. This led to Cristal Union posting its first net loss in its last fiscal year.

It comes as a surprise to many after The cooperative group, the EU’s fourth-largest sugar producer comprising 9,800 members, announced in April it would shut two sugar mills in France next year as it expects global oversupply to continue pressuring prices.

In February, Suedzucker, the EU’s largest sugar refiner, said it would close two plants at its French branch Saint Louis Sucre, whereas unlisted Nordzucker said in March it would close a mill in Sweden.

Cristal Union had envisaged partnerships with other companies, but these were blocked by the European Commission.

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