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Higher South African Sugar Production Expected from Good Rains

25 April 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

SOUTH AFRICA - Good rains over most of the sugarcane producing areas of South Africa have set the foundation for an expected higher crop in the 2012/13 season.

Hence, post forecasts that the 2012/13 season (April 2012 to March 2013) sugarcane crop will increase by about a million tons or by six per cent to 17.9 MMT.

This comes after enduring two of the worst drought-affected production seasons in the past 20 years. The 2011/12 season (April 2011 to March 2012) sugarcane crop was finalised at 16.8MMT, only about five per cent higher than the previous season’s 16.0MMT.

Sugar production for the 2012/13 season is forecast to be 2.1 MMT Tel Quell (2.2 MMTRV), 15 per cent more than the previous season on better climatic conditions. In the 2011/12 season, South Africa produced its lowest sugar crop the past 15 years at 1.8 MMT (1.9 MMTRV) due to the secondary impacts of 2010/11 season’s drought.

Sugar exports are expected to increase by 80 per cent to 600,000 in the 2012/13, as sugar production significantly rebounds from previous years of low production. Hence, South Africa is expected to deliver on a possible United States tariff rate sugar allocation in the 2012/13 season.

Post expects South Africa’s sugar exports declined by about 20 per cent in 2011/12 season to 330,000 MTRV due to lower domestic sugar production. It is expected that South Africa exported 160,000 MT of raw sugar and 160,000 MT (171,200 MTRV) of refined sugar during the 2011/12 season.

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