Tongaat Hullets sugar output down 2, 4%

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LOCAL sugar cane miller Hippo Valley Estates Limited (HVEL) sugar output went down by 2,3% on the back of sound uptake of the firm’s products by locals.

Presenting a trading update for the period ended June 30 2023 HVEL chairman Canaan Dube revealed that output was slightly lower than what was recorded in the comparative period.

“The company’s share of the total industry sugar sales volume of 91 239 tons for the three months to 30 June 2023 being  52,12% as opposed to  54,50%  resembling a 2,38% decline.

“Industry sugar sales into the domestic market for the same period, amounting to 87 816 tons was 4% above the comparable period in the prior year attributable to demand from industrial customers during the quarter ending 30 June 2023,” he said.

During the period, revenue realisation on the local market, in both local and foreign currency, remained firm as most customers continued to support local brands for the better part of the first quarter although volume decline was evident in the last weeks of June 2023 as the impact of duty-free sugar imports set in.

Dube said various measures are being implemented to defend market share in the domestic market.

Industry exports amounted to 3 423 tons with the differential being due to the fact that in the prior year, there were carry-over export allocations that were rolled over while in the current year the bulk of the export orders will be processed in the second and third quarters of the year.

Historic revenue realized in the first quarter grew by 785% to ZWL 131,9 billion in inflation adjusted ZWL 231.4 billion from ZWL 14,9 billion recorded during the same period last year.

“The use of foreign currency for domestic transactions also increased significantly during the first quarter, spurred by the constrained Zimbabwe Dollar liquidity.

“As part of the positive initiatives, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe eventually announced monetary policy measures allowing foreign currency to be traded more freely at the market determined exchange rates through financial institutions, resulting in some stabilization in the economy,” added Dube.