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Russia- Sucden to start operations later than usual, lower output expected

Agroinvestor, 01.08.18

French sugar company Sucden has boosted total capacity of its sugar plants by 14% during the 2018-19 crop year, on an expansion of operations at the Kamensk sugar factory in Russia, according to a report from Agroinvestor, a Russian news organization.

Despite the increase in capacity, the group expects to begin activities in August, which is later in the season than usual, according to the report.

"The start-up of business will take place somewhat later, due to the lag in the development of sugar beet due to unfavorable weather in the spring, which has prolonged the sowing season," said Gleb Tikhomirov, CFO of Sucden's Russian division.

Volumes are expected to decrease in most regions, as less area is planted and the nation attempts to normalize sugar reserves as a means to support prices amid the current global surplus.

Continued exports, lower imports, and lower production will help support domestic pricing paid to Russian farmers, Tikhomirov said.

But Yevgeny Ivanov, an expert at the Russian Institute for Agricultural and Market Studies, believes reduced production will not have any significant impact on pricing and the cost of sugar may fall even lower year on year.

"Even if sugar production declines, it will still be at a high level -at least 5.5 million mt, or even 6.2 million mt - and this is unlikely to support prices much," he said.

Sucden is one of the largest players in the Russian sugar market, producing 443,000 mt of sugar from beets during the 2017-18 crop year, according to the report.

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