Due to hike in sugar production and huge carryover stocks, Zimbabwe’s sugar exports are likely to increase by 21 per cent. Last year the country made an export of 120 000 tonnes sugar, which may go up to 145 000 tonnes in 2019.
Zimbabwe mainly exports sugar to the European Union, Botswana, United States, and South Africa and Eastern Africa (Kenya). To fulfil the 2017/18 Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQ), Zimbabwe exported about 17 443 tonnes of raw sugar to the US. Under the TRQ programme, US allows duty-free access for Zimbabwe sugar.
For Zimbabwe, US is the attractive market as compared to other markets such as the European Union. According to the reports, sugar export to EU has been declined in the past couple of years due to unfavourable prices and low returns.
Earlier there were rumours of sugar shortages, following which the sugar prices got more than double. To clear the air on sugar scarcity news, The Zimbabwe Sugar Association (ZSA) had come to rescue and urged the members of the public not to hoard sugar because there are enough sweetener stocks to meet local demands in the country. Over the news of sugar shortage, ZSA chairperson, Muchuadeyi Masunda, had stated “To meet national requirements, the country has enough sugar stocks. We urge all retailers and wholesalers to continue behaving responsibly. We reassure to our customers and stakeholders that the Zimbabwe sugar industry has sufficient sugar stocks to meet both industrial and household grades of sugar to the next season.”
According to the reports, the country’s 2019/20 sugar cane production could increase by 4 per year on year to 3.7 million tonnes.
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