Deliberate measures were undertaken to reduce sugar sales in the Zimbabwean market; details have emerged.
Zimbabwe produced 408,260 tons of sugar for the 10 months ended 31 December 2020, 8% below the same period in 2019.
Tongaat Hulett; Chairman, Dan Marokane said, “Total industry sugar sales into the domestic market for the nine months ended 31 December 2020 at 259 000 tons (2019: 266 000 tons), were 3% below prior year due to deliberate measures taken by the industry during the first quarter of the financial year to minimize speculative trade and illegal exports to neighbouring countries on account of then existing currency and pricing distortions.”
“The measures were successful, as sugar has since been readily available on the formal market, including during the peak demand festive season.”
Tongaat Hullett predicts that the total industry sugar production for the forthcoming 2021/22 production season to increase on the back of projected improvements in yields, cane quality and milling efficiencies.
“The above-normal rainfall season experienced to date, has signicantly enhanced water security for the industry,” Makorane said.
“With Tugwi-Mukosi Dam spilling for the first time since its commissioning in May 2017, and Lake Mutirikwi at over 60% of its capacity, 75% of the sugar industry’s irrigated cane area, is adequately covered for at least three seasons,- (at normal water duty). With the rainfall season forecast to continue until the end of March, Lake Mutirikwi is likely to impound more water, thereby further improving industry water security.”
“Efforts to maximize sugar production through yield improvement initiatives on both Company owned and Private farmer owned cane fields are on-going, with special focus on strategic partnerships to rehabilitate all derelict and low yielding Private farmer land to above the breakeven yield of 70 tons/ha,” the chairman explained.
Tongaat Hullett sugar industry export sales for 2019, however recorded a 45% growth to 97 000 tons (2019: 67 000 tons) for the nine months ended 31 December 2020, despite a temporary suspension of sugar imports by the Kenyan Government in June 2020.
“Marketing focus remains on ensuring fullment of local market requirements, whilst growing export sales in regional premium markets to generate additional foreign currency for the Company and the nation,” Makorane said.