Zambia Sugar sees 2012/13 output above 400,000 tonnes

Zambia Sugar, a unit of South Africa’s Illovo Sugar, expects its sugar output to increase by more than 7 percent to over 400,000 tonnes in the current 2012/2013 season from last year, it said on Monday.

The company, which produced 374,000 tonnes of sugar in the last season to end March, said it expected output to rise due to good climatic conditions, increased age of cane and a larger planted area.

“The factory has quickly reached its rated capacity and is poised to repeat the solid performance experienced in the previous year,” Zambia Sugar said.

Improved economic conditions would enhance domestic market sales and the continuing sugar deficit in the region would also benefit the company, it said.

“Higher than expected realisations from European Union exports should further improve export revenue,” the company added.

Zambia Sugar expected operating costs to come under pressure as major global commodity prices soared and inflation hiked local costs of production, it said.

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