France's Cristal Union produced 1.5 million tonnes of sugar and 3.6 million hectolitres of alcohol and ethanol during the 2021/22 campaign, from a total of 13 million tonnes of sugar beet processed.
That compared to about 10 million tonnes of sugar beet processed in the previous season, which was ravaged by pest attacks that caused yellow disease, it said.
The average yield in 2021 was 89 tonnes of beet at 16 degrees of sugar per hectare, compared to the French average of 85.7 tonnes per hectare, according to farm ministry data in December.
Olivier De Bohan, president of Crystal Union, said, "The 2021 campaign took place under better auspices than that of 2020. We nevertheless had our share of challenges: an episode of frost in the spring and non-compliant Adama products delivered to some of the planters."
General director, Xavier Astolfi, added, "On the strength of our financially sound industrial and commercial performance, we are seeking to develop our sugar beet areas so that our factories, which today have the capacity to process additional volumes of beet, achieve their maximum performance while respecting of our social and environmental commitments and for the benefit of all, cooperators and employees."
Sugar Beet Output
Despite severe frosts in the spring, sugar beet output rebound more than 30% in 2021 from the extremely poor beet crop the previous year.
Cristal Union will pay its cooperative members an average price of 29 euros per tonne of sugar beet, up from €25.5 in 2020. It aims to reach €30 per tonne in the mid term.
'The group is confident that this objective will be achieved, in a context of buoyant markets for both sugar and alcohol/ethanol,' it said.
Last week, Cristal Union announced a €1.0 billion refinancing agreement, which it said will give it some financial flexibility for its future projects.