South African sugar industry faces huge loss

The sugar industry in South Africa faced a loss of more than R84 million as the riot and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal led to the damage of thousands of tonnes of cane, said the South African Canegrowers Association on Tuesday,

The rioters have damaged more than 500,000 tonnes of sugarcane during the unrest. The mills in Kwa-Zulu-natal have not taken the cane for processing as the cane was completely damaged.

Since the unrest began the sugar mills have rejected 135,222 tons of damaged cane worth R84,5 million. The association has estimated that the cane farmers may lose around R300 million if the mills deny crushing 500,000 tons of the cane burnt during the attack.

Andrew Russell, chairman of the South African Canegrowers Association said, “The farmers are worried about the losses they are facing if the mills continue denying crushing their cane.”

The decision of sugar mills is a blow to the sugar sector that is already facing troubles due to droughts, cheap imports and the sugar tax. The experts from the industry fear that this may cripple the sugar industry.

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