S.Africa’s sugar output falls 12 pct on drought

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa recorded a 12 percent declined in sugar output for the 2010/11 season, touching fresh 15-year lows, after drought scorched sugar-growing areas last year, data showed on Monday.

The country’s 2010/11 sugar output fell to 1.909 million tonnes from 2.18 million tonnes in the previous season, the South African Sugar Association (SASA) said in a statement.

South Africa last year faced a drought in the rain-dependent sugar growing area of Kwazulu Natal Province, weighing on the sugar output.

A SASA spokeswoman told Reuters that the final output was a 15-year low.

Sugarcane crush declined to 16.016 million tonnes from 18.7 million tonnes, the industry association, which represents producers and millers of the sweetener in Africa’s biggest economy, said.

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