Maputo, Mozambique, 18 Dec – Mozambique’s exports of Sugar this year were the highest since the country’s independence over 30 years ago, according to official Maputo statistics.
Figures from the Center for Promotion of Agriculture (Cepagri), part of the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture, show that four sugar firms exported 175,837 metric tons of sugar this year, worth some US$67.3 million.
The previous national sugar export record was in 1973, two years before Mozambique’s independence from Portugal, and Roberto Albino, director of Cepagri, said exports in 2006 were up 78.5% in a year-on-year comparison.
This increase, Albino explained, is due to rising demand in preferential markets, such as the European Union and United States, and higher world sugar prices.
The official Maputo statistics show the country will produce slightly over 2 million tons of cane sugar this year and that refineries will produce 245,525 tons of sugar and 69,128 tons of molasses.
With these production levels, Mozambique’s sugar industry will satisfy national demand of around 140,000 tons.
Additionally, about 10,000 tons of sugar also entered the country illegally from neighboring states, particularly Zimbabwe and Malawi, and Cepagri’s director said this smuggling costs Mozambique’s national industry about US$1 million every year.
Provisional figures for 2007 forecast that sugar cane production will reach 2.5 million tons, from which 292,000 tons of sugar will be refined and 85,000 tons of molasses. (macauhub)