Mauritius 2010 sugar output down 3 pct

10 years, 11 months ago - February 19, 2011
Mauritius Sugar Syndicate raises prices for 2010 sugar. But syndicate says prices still on downward trend

Sugar output in Mauritius fell by 3.2 percent to 452,473 tonnes in 2010 and ended close to initial forecasts, the Chamber of Agriculture said on Friday.

Sugar, a centuries-old pillar of the Indian Ocean island's $9 billion economy, accounts for roughly 3 percent of gross domestic product and is a major employer.

"Provisional data shows that sugar production was 452,473 tonnes. The figure is close to the official estimate of 450,000 tonnes made in June at the start of the crop season," Jocelyn Kwok, the Chamber of Agriculture secretary general, said in a statement.

The Mauritius Sugar Syndicate said it had revised upward prices to be paid to sugar producers for 2010.

"The new price for 2010 harvest will be 13,500 rupees per tonne compared to previous estimates of 12,700 rupees and 12,800 rupees made in July and December 2010 respectively," the Sugar Syndicate said.

It said the increase resulted from an improvement in European market prices and in the terms of its partnership with Germany's Suedzucker (SZUG.DE) for the commercialisation of refined sugar in Europe. 

The Mauritius Sugar Syndicate said that although the price increased for 2010, it still reflected a declining trend over three consecutive years.

"This trend is essentially linked to an appreciation of the rupee against the euro. The average exchange rate obtained for the 2010 harvest is estimated at 41.10 rupees compared to 44.50 rupees at the previous harvest," the Sugar Syndicate said.

It said the new price estimate is still below the price level required to ensure sustainable profitability of operations for sugar producers. (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by George Obulutsa and Jane Baird)

Text by Reuters

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