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September 22, 2008

Mozambique targets $95 million from sugar exports

Mozambique expects to earn about $95 million from exports of cane sugar this year, buoyed by higher investment in the sugar sector, a top agriculture official said on September 16.

Pedro Sitoi, spokesman of Mozambique's Centre for Commercial Agriculture Promotion (CEPAGRI), said the revenue would partly be achieved from the sale of 175,000 tonnes of cane sugar. "There was significant investment this year in the sugar sector and we hope to earn $95 million in revenues in the export of 175,000 metric tones of sugar exports," he said.

Sitoi said 68,000 metric tonnes of white sugar and 12,000 tonnes of brown sugar would be sent to the European Union and United States markets respectively.

Mozambique's four operational sugar mills are expected to produce about 295,000 tonnes of sugar this year, up from last year's output of 243,860 tonnes.

"The Xinavane and Maragra companies in Maputo province should produce 80,400 tonnes and 79,691 tonnes, while the Sena and Mafambisse companies, in the central province of Sofala, are set to produce 75,000 and 60,000 tonnes respectively," Sitoi said.

Sugar production is expected to reach about 500,000 tonnes in 2009.

An investment of around $177 million has been planned for the expansion of the Xinanvane sugar factory, in Maputo province, and the Mafambisse sugar factory in Sofala province.

Mozambique's sugar exports generated revenues of $45.9 million last year, a fall of 29 percent from 2006. Sugar sales abroad netted the country $64 million in 2006, from exports of 170,311 metric tonnes.

The Mafambisse and Xinavane factories, owned by the South African Tongaat-Hullett group, are planning to expand their production areas to take advantage of the European market.

The expansion would be under the auspices of the "Everything But Arms" initiative, which will allow poor countries to export all goods except weaponry to Europe free of duties or quotas.

Reuters

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