Ukrainian sugar industry is working at a record this year

The Acting Chairman of the National Association of Sugar Producers of Ukraine «Ukrsugar» Nazar Mykhailovin told «Interfax-Ukraine» how 2023 spring forecasts regarding the sugar beet sown area, the readiness of sugar factories for the sugar production season and sugar export potential came true.

Forecasts in the current year not only came true, but also exceeded expectations. If on the eve of the sowing campaign we expected 239,000 ha of sugar beet sowing area, now, according to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, we have 249,900 ha. This is more than in the pre-war year 2021, when Ukraine cultivated 220,000 hectares of beets.

Despite the delay in sowing by almost two weeks due to unfavorable weather and climate conditions, sugar beet growing season is currently satisfactory and it can be said that it is similar to last year's indicators. We expect a good crop. However, it is too early to give final conclusions today, as the season continues and everything will depend on further weather and climate conditions. The yield of sugar beets in the current year is predicted to be within 500-550 t/ha. Sugar content, according to Association members, also corresponds to last year's indicators — from 14.5 to 16-17%.

This year, the sugar beet harvesting season began on August, 20 in Vinnytsia and Cherkasy regions. As of today, two sugar factories are already operating in the country, one in Vinnytsia and one in Cherkasy region.

Sugar beets will be processed by 30 sugar factories. Seven more sugar factories were added to last year's enterprises, of which three are located in Kyiv region, two — in Zhytomyr region, one — in Khmelnytsk and one more — in Ternopil region.

at the beginning of the full-scale war, there was one sugar factory in Kharkiv region under occupation. To date, there are no sugar factories in Ukraine that are under occupation. Kharkiv region did not sow sugar beets, as the lands were not completely demined. Therefore, sugar factories of this region will not work.

Under favorable weather and climate conditions in Ukraine this year, the sugar beet crop is expected to be within 13 million tonnes, which ensures optimal working hours of enterprises. Depending on the start-up date, most sugar factories will finish their sugar production season by the New Year, and some sugar refineries plan to operate in the first decade of 2024.

Sugar export is one of the main ways of sugar industry development. «Ukrsugar» supports the forecast of «Astarty-Kyiv», because today exports recovery is an important issue for sugar factories. The volumes of sugar production of 2022/2023 season fully meet the needs of domestic market and create an export potential of at least 600,000 tonnes.

But recall that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, by a resolution dated June, 5 of this year, banned the export of sugar until September, 15. Producers hope that this ban will be canceled and the export of sugar will be resumed, in particular, to the countries of the European Union.

Currently, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and «Ukrsugar» Association are developing a mechanism for sugar export for Ukrainian exporters.

Based on the available information, «Ukrsugar» can inform that the licenses for export to Romania were obtained by enterprises of the sugar industry, and not by traders.

Sugar industry enterprises are constantly working on improving their technical and technological processes of sugar production, a number of enterprises are working on improving the energy component. With the full-scale war and prohibition, everyone has some sort of financial problem. However, everyone tries to work for the result.

Ukrainian sugar industry is export-oriented. The production capacities of the country's sugar factories are capable of producing up to 2 million tonnes of sugar, while meeting the needs of domestic market and creating export potential. However, it is necessary to enter foreign markets for this. Due to the suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, domestic farmers are already showing interest in sugar beet production this year, which has not been observed for six years.

At the same time, the government needs to facilitate the search for logistics routes and countries-importes of our sugar. The production of sugar in Ukraine can be promising if there are sale markets and a solution to the issue of logistical routes.

The industry is ready for the production season. Businesses independently take all necessary measures to overcome challenges and threats during 2023/2024 sugar production season.

With the favorable conditions of the world market and the improvement of logistics routes, sugar beet and sugar producers of Ukraine are preparing for the next 2024 sowing campaign, believe in the victory of the Military Forcesof Ukraine, look to the future with hope and hope for the further development of domestic beet sugar industry and its export potential.