The production of sugar beet in the current season will decrease by 10% and amount to approximately 13.1 million tons. This forecast was shared by Vasily Dolinsky, analyst of commodity markets and agriculture of NASU “Ukrtsukor” in his blog on UNN.
This fall is a consequence of the domestic market situation, which demotivates the agrarians to grow this culture, the expert explains.
Because of low prices, farmers are forced to significantly reduce crops, and sugar refineries generally refuse to process beets in the new season. So, the Zaselsky sugar factory (“Yukreinian Sugar Company”) closed and left all the south of Ukraine without processing, Dolinsky said.
It reminds that in 2018 280,000 hectares were sown with sugar beet, which is 13% less than the last year. According to preliminary estimates, the density of crops also decreased and would amount to 98 thousand plants per 1 ha, against 103 thousand plants per hectare last year.
In the current season, negative factors seem to have been superimposed one by one, Dolinsky commented. During the sowing campaign, the fall in prices provoked by the world surplus of sugar reached a critically low level over the past 10 years – $ 310-320 per tonne, and pushed agrarians to choose in favor of soybean, corn or sunflower.
Also, a short spring with a high temperature and a lack of moisture and a record number of weevils negatively affected the beet crop. However, according to the expert, under favorable weather conditions, agrarians still need to count on a good harvest.
As Dolinsky predicts, the production of sugar from the new harvest will be about 1.75 million tons, which is 17% less than the same indicator for the previous year.