France's Cristal Union Plans To Double Sugar Exports In 2024/25

By Reuters
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France's Cristal Union Plans To Double Sugar Exports In 2024/25

French sugar maker Cristal Union plans to double exports of the sweetener next season to lighten an expected surplus in the European Union linked to larger beet plantings as farmers were attracted by high sugar prices, it said.

The cooperative group, which like many peers posted record results for the 2023/24 financial year thanks to high prices, expects the area sown by its members to rise 5% this year, which along with rises elsewhere in Europe could weigh on prices.

"In the event that the harvest is very good, we are preparing to export, particularly in the Mediterranean region and West Africa. We have reserved storage. We're ready. We will export to maintain balance on the European internal market," Cristal Union's deputy director general Stanislas Bouchard said.

The company already secured an additional 50,000 metric tonnes of storage in the port of Antwerp a month ago, he said.

Bouchard put the group's exports last year at "well above 200,000 tonnes", declining to give further details.


France's largest sugar maker Tereos' chief executive Olivier Leducq told Reuters last week that all European producers should take their share of exports next season to preserve the European market.

Sugar Prices

European sugar prices have been supported by a deficit in the bloc but prospects of a larger crop, a flow of Ukrainian imports, and a sharp fall on global sugar markets have weighed on local prices since late last year.

In April, the latest available official price, average prices for white sugar in the EU were trading 3% below the end of 2023 at 831 euros a tonne. On the spot market they were closer to 700 euros, down 30% from the 1,000 euros traded at the same time a year earlier.

The European Commission sees the sugar beet area in the bloc increasing 2% year-on-year as farmers rushed to cash in on the surge in sugar prices.

Cristal Union's results, as for its peers, are expected to weaken this year as prices wane but the extent of the fall will depend on the weather and any yellows disease damage, the company's chairman Olivier de Bohan said.

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