Egypt’s Sugar Set Industry to Global Competition Surged 75% Self-Sufficiency

Ali El-Moselhy, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade confirmed that Egypt has reached 75% of self-sufficiency in sugar, as one of the most important strategic commodities. This came during the signing ceremony between the Sugar and Integrated Industries Co. of the Holding Company for Food Industries, and an international alliance consisting of 4 companies, including CEGMAN, BMA, Maine Capital, and Ronald Berger with the aim of developing, modernizing and restructuring the national company and its subsidiaries.

In a statement issued, he said that Egypt will reach self-sufficiency in sugar in the coming period, with the completion of new factories and developing existing ones. The minister emphasized that the aim of developing the sugar company is to place Egypt on the map of local, regional and international competition. He also stressed that no employee in the sugar industry would be laid off and would be trained according to the latest international experiences.

Earlier, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla had announced that Egypt plans to reach self-sufficiency in petroleum products in 2023. He had pointed out that there are many factors contributing to gradually achieving self-sufficiency in petroleum products, such as operating new refineries and raising the efficiency of current facilities, rationalising consumption, expanding the national project to convert cars to work on natural gas, and improving the transport network.

Out of the total world production of table sugar, Brazil produces 41%, and India 8%. While Russia top’s sugar beet production with 19% of the world total. It is worth mentioning that alcohol is made by fermenting sugar with a catalyst, which is usually yeast. After fermentation, the soluble carbohydrate turns into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol.

Egypt produces around 2.5 million tonnes of sugar annually but needs 3.3 million tonnes. The source said, the demand is growing in Egypt due to population growth as two million Egyptians are added every. Therefore, Canal Sugar, a $1 billion joint venture between UAE and Egypt investors, will start production next year with the aim to bridge 80 percent of Egypt’s current sugar gap. It’s located in Minya Governorate of Egypt. The Egypt’s Canal Sugar will produce 400,000 tonnes a year of white sugar when it starts production in the 2021 season.

Jamal Al Ghurair, managing director of the UAE-based Al Khaleej Sugar, and other UAE investors will hold 70 percent stake in the sugar refinery while the rest of 30 percent will be controlled by Egypt’s Al Ahli Capital Holding. The refinery will produce 900,000 metric tonnes of white sugar per year. The project will see desert land reclamation of 77,000 hectares, of which 50,000 hectares will be irrigated with centre pivot irrigation system.

Planting will begin in late October for the 2021 harvest. Once the project’s full agricultural capacity is reached, it will produce half of its sugar from the beets it grows, with the remainder provided by local farmers. The west Minya project aims to establish the world’s largest beet sugar plant and the sugar produced will be sold in the local Egyptian market, which faces a deficit. Production is aimed at the local market as there is a deficit in the country, so it makes sense to be in the local market. But there are good economic chances for export to neighboring countries.