Krajewa Spolka Cukrowa (Polish Sugar) is among the polish companies that are looking for investment opportunities in Ethiopia. The said company is interested to build a raw sugar refinery here as competition in the European sugar market increases.
The company, whose major shareholder is the government of Poland with 79.7% ownership, is the largest sugar producer in Poland supplying 39.1% of the country’s sugar. However, it provides only 4.1% of the European Union’s sugar, although it wants to be more competitive, according to Adam Wilczewski, representative of Polish Sugar at the Polish-Ethiopian Business Forum, which was held on Monday, Sept. 23rd, at the Sheraton Addis. “Europe is now one common market and we are expected to compete with other sugar producers in all of Europe,” said Wilczewski. “Therefore, 4 percent is a small share of the market. We believe that we are no more than a medium-sized company,” he told Capital.
He said that his company’s competition is doing much better in terms of production capacity. “The company with the biggest market share in sugar is a German company, whose share is 25 percent.” He said his company’s strategy is to grow rapidly because there’s very little room in the market for small companies. “In order to survive, we have to grow fast. There’s no place for a small company in the future,” he told Capital.
Furthermore, the company wants to be a cane-sugar producer, because cane-sugar is cheaper and can make the company more competitive in the market. “We would like to be a cane-sugar producer in the future or at least producers of the two kinds of sugar at the same time to diversify our production,” he said. “The future of sugar production belongs to cane sugar not to beet sugar.”
Cane sugar is not only cheaper, but also preferred by most people, requiring the company to commit to cane -sugar investment. “People prefer cane sugar to the beet sugar,” he said.
Krajewa Spolka Cukrowa exports its goods to the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Syria and the UAE, among many others.
Sugar is an important part of human diet in most parts of the world because it makes food more palatable, with an average consumption rate of 24 kilograms per person each year. This number goes up to 33.1kgs in industrialized countries. The average consumption per capita is due to rise to 25.1 kilograms per year.
India leads the world in sugar consumption with 22 million metric tons utilized in 2009/10, and increasing its consumption to 26.5 million metric tons in 2012/13. The European Union is the second largest consumer of sugar with 16.5 million metric tons in 2009/10 rising to 17.8 million metric tons in 2012/13, while the largest sugar producer – Brazil -stood fourth in terms of consumption with 11.4 million metric tons and 11.7 million metric tons for the same periods, respectively.
Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, the world produced about 168 million tons of sugar in 2011. Sugar production for 2013/14 is forecast to reach a record 175 million metric tons.
Brazil has often led the production of sugar. The country produced 31 million metric tons and 35 million metric tons in 2010/11 and 2011/12, respectively, while India followed with 28.6 million and 28.3 million metric tons during the same periods.