Zambia Sugar nets $71.5m from EU

The human cost of a sugar giant avoiding taxes - Pix source -
The human cost of a sugar giant avoiding taxes - Pix source -

ZAMBIA Sugar Plc exported about 130,000 tonnes of sugar to the European market worth almost US$71.5 million this year.
Meanwhile, the firm expects to produce 412,000 tonnes of cane sugar for 2013/14 farming season.
Company managing director Aubrey Chibumba said the European Union (EU) market is key for the firm to grow hence the decision to enter into a guaranteed market.
Mr Chibumba said proceeds from the EU market will enable the firm fund the expansion project.
“Roughly, we export about 130, 000 tonnes of sugar into the EU… what we earn from the sales largely depends on how many issues including logistics, clients etc… the EU average price is at US$ 550 per tonne,” he said.
Mr Chibumba was speaking to journalists after the firm held a shareholders open day in Mazabuka last Wednesday.
The company has the capacity to produce in excess of 400,000 tonnes of sugar per annum. About 40 percent of current production is sold to domestic and industrial markets, with the balance exported to the EU and African regional markets.
On the firm’s prospects, Mr Chibumba said the firm expects good climatic conditions and increased sugar cane deliveries to the mill during the coming year due to the increase in the area to be harvested from out-growers.
He said targets for production, revenue and sales are set for every year as the company operates on a performance based system.
“In terms of our production target, we are on stream. We are expecting to produce 412,000 tonnes for 2013/214 season. Our target is based on agriculture and translated into cane sugar,” he said.
Mr Chibumba said continued strong performance of the economy will also benefit sales realisation with a continued reduction in borrowings expected to enhance earnings, exchange rate movements.
The firm had a record production of sugar of 404,000 tonnes of cane sugar in 2012/2013 compared with 374,000 tonnes produced in the 2011/2012 season.
Mr Chibumba said operations already started in early April for the 2013/14 season, with another expected record of cane and sugar production.