French producers lead way in expanding EU sugar beet production despite low global sugar prices

Summary

Both Tereos and Cristal Union have announced plans to expand sugar beet plantings by 25% in the 2017/18 season, as EU sugar companies’ battle for market position in a post-production quota EU market. The corresponding contraction of sugar production in areas less favoured for sugar production is however undermined by continued deployment of coupled sugar specific sugar to producers in 10 EU member states accounting for 35% of the total area under sugar beet in the EU in 2016/17. These payments range from €67 to €518 per ha. The trade effects of these policy driven distortions will be most severely felt by traditionally preferred ACP sugar exporters, as EU sugar imports contract and exports expand. ACP sugar exporters will need to radically rethink their market positioning strategies if they are to profitably export to the EU. Read more “French producers lead way in expanding EU sugar beet production despite low global sugar prices”

Footloose nature of EU poultry meat exports to Africa highlighted by AI restrictions

Summary
While AI outbreaks are expected to reduce EU poultry exports in 2017, there is no evidence of this in the first two months of 2017, with strong growth in EU exports to sub-Saharan African markets north of South Africa. Recent corporate takeovers in the poultry sector could lead to a strengthening of the focus on sub-Saharan African markets. Recent trends highlight the ‘footloose’ nature of EU poultry meat exports, with markets being sought where minimal import controls are applied. Read more “Footloose nature of EU poultry meat exports to Africa highlighted by AI restrictions”

Sustainability: Choosing between beet sugar and cane sugar

Summary
While sustainability considerations are not yet a major concern in sugar sourcing, developments in the cocoa and palm oil sectors suggest it will be only a matter of time before sustainability certification is increasingly demanded by food and beverage manufacturers in the EU.  the Bonsucro initiative is an attempt to get ahead of the curve on sustainability certification in the sugar sector. To date however there has been little engagement by ACP sugar exporters in the Bonsucro initiative. Given smallholder sugar producers struggle to obtain sustainability certification there appears to be a case for EU supported ‘aid for sustainability’ programmes to ensure smallholder sugar producers are not systematically discriminated against. Read more “Sustainability: Choosing between beet sugar and cane sugar”

Gambia Withdraws Import Ban on Onions and Potatoes

 

Summary
The government of Gambia has lifted a ban on imports of onions and potatoes, with female onion producers criticising the move and calling for seasonal restrictions and greater support for local producers. Experience in Senegal suggests there may be a role for seasonal restrictions in stimulating investment in local production. Experience in Namibia meanwhile highlights how successful the use of trade policy measures can be in stimulating local production, if the necessary infrastructure, organisational and administrative capacities are already in place. Read more “Gambia Withdraws Import Ban on Onions and Potatoes”

EU dairy companies commit to help building milk-to dairy supply chains in Nigeria

Summary
There is a need for greater coordination between EU dairy cooperatives in their efforts to promote the development of milk-to-dairy supply chains in Nigeria. This includes in regard to the establishment of code of conduct on responsible trade and investment engagement in the Nigerian dairy sector. However the Nigerian government will also need to make sustained efforts to address infrastructural and logistical constraints on the development of competitive milk supply chains. Arla continues to grapple with the challenge of reconciling its commitment to not undermining the position of local farmers and its commercial interests linked to its core profit maximisation obligations to its farmer owners. Read more “EU dairy companies commit to help building milk-to dairy supply chains in Nigeria”

Multiple challenges pending for ACP sugar exporters

Summary
The production and trade consequences of the abolition of EU sugar and isoglucose quotas are just the tip of an iceberg of challenges facing ACP cane sugar exporters. These developments will be compounded by the uncertain prospects for global sugar markets and the UK’s pending departure from the EU. The overall situation is further complicated by sustained regulatory pressure to reduce the sugar content of processed food and drink products, both in Europe and beyond, and the growing availability of alternative sweeteners. This will create a context where only the most efficient ACP sugar cane industries are likely to be able to compete on the EU27 and the UK markets.  Read more “Multiple challenges pending for ACP sugar exporters”

New scheduled air serives open up opportunities for expanded Ghanaian fresh fruit exports to EU

 

Summary
New scheduled airline services between Accra and Paris could open up new opportunities for high value horticultural exports from Ghana to France. However sustainable development of such opportunities will be critically influenced by the competitiveness of freight rates offered.  Given the history of price collusion among scheduled airline on European freight service routes, this is an area where the European Commission will need to maintain close scrutiny. Read more “New scheduled air serives open up opportunities for expanded Ghanaian fresh fruit exports to EU”

What are the implications for ACP sugar producers of Tate & Lyle Sugars expectations on UK sugar sector policy post-Brexit?

Summary
Tate & Lyle Sugars continues to put pressure on the UK government to use Brexit to level the playing field between beet processors and cane sugar refiners,  by removing import duties on raw cane sugar. The adoption of such a UK sugar trade policy would carry serious consequences for ACP sugar exporters to the UK market, undermining their competitive position as suppliers to the UK market and driving many out of the UK market. Trilateral customs cooperation arrangements could however be put in place, on a transitional basis, to minimise disruption of current supply chains which serve EU27 markets through the UK, not only in the sugar sector but beyond. Read more “What are the implications for ACP sugar producers of Tate & Lyle Sugars expectations on UK sugar sector policy post-Brexit?”

Arla’s Senegalese milk powder repackaging plant begins operations

Summary

The opening of Arla’s repackaging plant in Senegal is expanding the companies milk powder exports to West Africa.  Arla already enjoys expanding sales of UHT milk and is planning to export branded butter and cheese to Senegal. There are concerns this could undermine the development of local milk supply chains, in contrast to Arla’s commitments to avoiding harm to local farmers. Arla’s commitment to developing milk supplies in Nigeria needs to be extended to Senegal, in the context of an initiative to launch a locally applicable Code of Conduct for Responsible Corporate Trade and Investment in African Dairy Sector Development. Read more “Arla’s Senegalese milk powder repackaging plant begins operations”