Astarta agricultural holding started to produce sugar at Yareskivsky sugar plant (Yaresky village, Poltava region) from sugar imported under the tariff quota [which is 260,000 tonnes in 2021], the company said on the website.
According to the agricultural holding, it has contracted 60,000 tonnes of raw materials for processing over the next three months.
Astarta said that in 2021 there is an unstable situation in the sugar market caused by the rise in world prices for raw materials, in particular, for sugar, as well as the uncertainty of market participants in a sufficient amount of sugar in the internal market.
The company said, due to the processing of sugar from imported sugar cane, it intends to create a reserve volume of sugar to ensure food security and stabilize sugar prices in Ukraine.
According to Astarta, such a step will help the agricultural holding to prevent the occurrence of force majeure, as it was in September 2020, when there was a temporary deficit due to the exhaustion of sugar trade reserves in Ukraine. The market was also affected by the delayed start of the new sugar-making season due to unfavorable weather conditions, the lowest sugar beet yield in the last few years (42.5 tonnes per hectare and its sugar content (16.14%)). All these factors contributed to the rise in prices and led to the fact that the AMCU started to investigate the situation on the sugar market.
The agricultural holding said that it considers it inexpedient to import raw cane sugar in the 2021/2022 marketing year (September-August), since Ukrainian producers are able to fully provide the internal market with their own high-quality sugar from Ukrainian raw materials.
“The business philosophy of Astarta is based on the company’s constant presence in the market of goods and uniform sales of sugar throughout the year. Consumers and buyers are in the center of our attention. The company’s task is to ensure sustainable cooperation and supply of products exactly when they need it,” Director General of the company Viktor Ivanchyk said.
Ukraine, as of May 5, imported 26,200 tonnes of raw cane sugar imported within the tariff quota of 260,000 tonnes, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine reported on the website, citing data from the State Customs Service.
The agency clarified that the average cost of imported raw materials will be $480 per tonne, and the estimated cost of processed cane sugar, taking into account logistics costs and after paying mandatory payments, will be UAH 22,000-23,000 per tonne on the Ukrainian market. According to the Ministry of Economy, as of May 5, importers were issued licenses to import raw sugar from cane into Ukraine with a total volume of 170,000 tonnes.
The ministry specified that since the beginning of the 2020/2021 marketing year, imports of white sugar amounted to 67,000 tonnes with an average cost of $512 per tonne.