Ukraine Sugar Exports To Hit 20-Year High In Drive For Foreign Currency

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's beet sugar industry is booming, with exports expected to reach 20-year highs next season, while Astarta, the country's largest sugar producer, reported booming profits and sales.

Ukraine's sugar beets.

The US Department of Agriculture's Kiev bureau forecast Ukraine's sugar exports to rise to 780,000 tonnes, up 350,000t tonnes from 2016-17, thanks to rising production and falling domestic production. 

The bureau suggested that plantings are getting some support from a need for foreing currency, encouraging exports and investment in the sugar sector.

Plantings rise in drive to increase exports 

The bureau forecast 2017-18 sugar plantings to rise to 310,000 hectares.

The bureau saw plantings supported as "companies are engaged in active exports in 2016-17… and might be willing to invest in areas under this crop to get more foreign currency revenue."

And the bureau saw sugar beet production at 14.3m tonnes, up 3% year-on-year, "based on an assumption of higher-than-average sugar beet yields in 2017, as stabilization of the economic situation of the country would permit usage of higher-yielding seeds and more effective agrochemicals".

"Based on sugar beet production forecasts… production of beet sugar in Ukraine in 2017-18 is forecast at 2.4m tonnes, a 19% increase over the 2016-17 estimate," the bureau said.

Astarta sugar exports boom 

Astarta, Ukraine's largest sugar producer, which holds about a quarter of the country's market, on Monday reported net profits up by more than fivefold in 2016, at 83m.

Astarta reported revenues up 17%, to 369m, while operating profit grew 15.2%, to 124.43m.

Revenue from the company's sugar segment increased by 15%, to 175m, accounting for 47% of total revenue, with sugar sales by volume up 8% year-on-year, at 390,000 tonnes.

Astarta's exports were seen at a record 139,000 tonnes in 2016.

Source: agrimony