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EU sugar price cut leaves Mauritius unconcerned

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Thursday, 30 June 2011

EU sugar price cut leaves Mauritius unconcerned

Mauritius' Sugar Syndicate said on Monday producers would be paid 15,000 rupees per tonne of sugar this year as the Indian Ocean island shifts to exporting refined sugar. When the European Union cut its guaranteed price for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar by 36 percent in phases, with the final tranche taking effect in October 2009, Mauritius switched to exporting value added sugars instead of raw sugar. Sugar producers received 13,535 rupees per tonne in 2010. "This rise in prices over the previous crop year is the result of the ... industry's focus on the development and the commercialisation of value added sugars, both refined and special, coupled with better conditions prevailing on our export markets," the Sugar Syndicate said in a statement. Mauritius' sugar output is seen falling to 420,000 tonnes this year from 452,473 tonnes in 2010, largely due to a reduced area under cultivation and poor weather. However, the Sugar Syndicate expects revenue to increase on the back of the production of refined sugar. Last year, Mauritius produced 256 267 tonnes of refined sugar and 110 000 tonnes of special sugar. Sugar, a centuries-old pillar of the Indian Ocean island's now almost $10 billion economy, accounts for roughly 1.2 percent of gross domestic product according to Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam. The Chamber of Agriculture says the country has been losing about 2,200 hectares of sugar cane fields annually. Mauritius, which has a population of 1.3 million, is the leading sugar exporter from the ACP bloc to the EU.

Source: Reuters