Bloomberg News

Sudan to Boost Sugar Production to Combat Shortage, Osman Says

November 17, 2011

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Sudan will increase its sugar output to address a shortage in Africa’s third-biggest producer of the sweetener.

The country’s production is expected to climb to 750,000 metric tons in the period from this month to May next year, compared with 670,000 tons a year earlier, Farouk Mahmoud Osman, deputy general manager at state-owned Sudanese Sugar Co., said today in an interview at his office in the capital, Khartoum.

“The state government is fully responsible for any shortage after the huge production we hand them,” Osman said. The Khartoum-based company provides processed sweetener to the state, which distributes 2,000 tons a day to packing factories, exceeding consumption, he said.

The shortage is the responsibility of “dishonest and greedy traders,” the al-Tayar newspaper on Nov. 14 cited Awad Ahmed El-Gaz, the minister for industry, as saying.

An extended Eid holiday contributed to the shortage, said Hassan Erwa, director of marketing at Kenana Sugar Co., Sudan’s largest producer of white, or refined, sugar.

“This year we had 11 days vacation for Eid which coincided with the start of the yield season,” Erwa said by phone from Khartoum. “Packing companies were closed and this caused the shortage in the local market.”

Kenana, situated near Rabak on the eastern bank of the White Nile, 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the capital, plans to increase cane production to 590,000 tons in the season from this month to May, compared with 355,700 tons a year earlier, Erwa said. The company, established in 1982, is 34 percent-owned by Sudan’s government, while the Kuwait Investment Authority has a 30 percent stake and Saudi Arabia owns a 12 percent holding.

Sudan is Africa’s third-biggest sugar producer after South Africa and Egypt, U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates show.

--Editors: John Deane, Alastair Reed

-0- Nov/17/2011 10:19 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Khartoum at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net -0- Nov/17/2011 10:06 GMT


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