France’s Cristal Union produced 1.5 million tonnes of sugar and 3.6 million hectolitres of alcohol and ethanol during the 2021/22 campaign, from a total of 13 million tonnes of sugar beet processed, it announced on Wednesday.
That compared to about ten million tonnes of sugar beet processed in the previous season, which was ravaged by pest attacks that caused yellow disease, it noted.
The average yield in 2021 was 89 tonnes of beet at 16 degrees of sugar per hectare, compared to the French average of 85.7 tonnes per hectare, according to farm ministry data in December.
Despite severe frosts in the spring, sugar beet output rebounded more than 30% in 2021, from the extremely poor beet crop the previous year.
Cristal Union noted that it will pay its cooperative members an average price of €29 per tonne of sugar beet, up from €25.50 in 2020.
It aims to reach €30 per tonne in the midterm.
‘The group is confident that this objective will be achieved, in a context of buoyant markets for both sugar and alcohol/ethanol,’ it noted.
Tereos And Cristal Union
In October of last year, Reuters reported that cooperative members of French sugar and agricultural raw-material producer Tereos and Cristal Union together planted about 85% of France’s total area of 410,000 hectares (101,310 acres) in 2021.
At the time of publication, the agriculture ministry’s estimate put the French harvest at 34 million tonnes – 30% above 2020, but 8% below the five-year average.