South Africa’s struggling sugar industry has received a major boost after the signing of a master plan by the Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel and Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, alongside stakeholders farmers, industrial users and retailers.
The Covid-19 pandemic has scuppered plans to revitalize South Africa’s ailing sugar industry for the time being, reported Bloomberg.
Embattled agri-processing and property giant Tongaat Hulett is preparing to pull out of cane production, as part of a turn-around plan, according to local press reports.
Signs that import protection tariffs for the sugar industry might be phased out indicated a turnaround in government thinking on this issue, SA Sugar Importers Association chief executive Chris Engelbrecht said on 5th September, according to local press reports.
A tax on sugary beverages that went into effect in April 2018 is straining the South African sugar industry. The industry is already buffeted by drought and a slump in global sugar price.
South Africa has raised import duties on sugar to US$680 from US$566 a tonne to protect the domestic industry against a surge in imports, the trade and industry minister Rob Davies’ said on 15th August.
South Africa – Cane growers protest against cheap imports, demand increased tariffs [Full subscriber]
Some 2000 cane growers led by the South African Sugar Association (SASA) and the SA Farmers Development Association (SAFDA) on 26th June protested in Pretoria demanding that tariffs on sugar imports be increased in order to protect the local sugarcane industry from cheap imports, according to local press reports.
Tax on sugar-sweetened beverages announced in 2016, came into effect on April 1st.
The 2017/18 sugar output in South Africa is forecast to increase to 1.97 million tonnes, up by 27% from the previous year, according to the latest report from USDA.