June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Mauritius estimates that income from sugar exports will rise 4.2 percent this year as the industry shifts to producing refined and specialty sugars, according to the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate.
Revenue will probably increase to 6.44 billion rupees ($226 million), Jean-Noel Humbert, the group’s chief executive officer, said in an interview today in Port Louis, the capital. The forecast is based on preliminary estimates from the syndicate, which is responsible for the Indian Ocean island nation’s sugar exports and imports.
“For the first time since the Dutch introduced sugar in 1650, Mauritius will be exclusively producing value-added sugars,” Humbert said. It isn’t viable to export raw sugar anymore after the European Union, its main market, cut the guaranteed price by 36 percent, he said.
Sugar production this year is estimated at 420,000 metric tons, 7.2 percent lower than the previous year because of less rain, the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture said June 8. Sugar cane is the country’s main crop, making up about 80 percent of land under cultivation and 63 percent of agricultural exports, according to the chamber. Harel Freres Ltd., Omnicane Ltd. and Flacq United Estates Ltd. are the biggest sugar producers in Mauritius. The country has a six-year contract to 2015 to sell its refined white sugar to Sudzucker AG of Germany.
Output is expected to be 70 percent refined white, known as EEC Grade 2, and 30 percent a range of 15 varieties of specialty sugars, Humbert said.
Mauritius produced 256,267 tons of refined white sugar last year, 110,000 tons of specialty sugars, including demerara and muscovado, and 81,450 tons of raw sugar. Mauritius is the largest producer of specialty sugars in the world, according to Humbert.
--Editors: Gordon Bell, Alastair Reed
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