Eswatini exports 26 thousand tons of sugar to the US
About 26 535 tonnes of sugar is shipped yearly to the Unites States of America through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Eswatini Sugar Association (ESA) Logistics Manager, Sibusiso Hlandze said the local sugar was exported to a terminal in Maputo, Mozambique.
He said the terminal,called the Sociedade Terminal De Acucar De Maputo (STAM), played a significant role in the country's sugar industry.
It is owned by four sugar companies in four countries namely Eswatini, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. According to Hlandze, STAM was responsible for the handling, storage and distribution of sugar produced in the four countries.
Each of these countries owns a share of 25 per cent of this terminal. The terminal is only for raw sugar, which is unprocessed, mainly we sell that sugar to the European Union (EU) where they reprocess it to refined sugar.
“The sugar here can’t be consumed as it is raw. The sugar is ferried from Eswatini and delivered here where we put it in the vessel, then we take it to our external markets, mainly the EU.
There is only one cargo that goes to the US every year, where we have a quota. Today you are here to witness the cargo that is going to US which is 26 535 tonnes. The highest volumes are necessitated by an increase in demand in US for the longest time,” he said during a media tour of STAM sugar terminal in Maputo, Mozambique on Monday.
Meanwhile, before proceeding to the tour, ESA acting Chief Executive Officer Walter Matsebula said Eswatini Sugar Association invested in the sugar terminal in Maputo for almost 30 years now.
He said the terminal was where they placed a bulk of their sugar for export.
“We are a shareholder in that sugar terminal, we invested in it, it’s almost 30 years now.
You will see when you get there how we have placed our sugar for loading. Luckily, you will also be able to see a ship loading our sugar to the United States of America as part of our US quota.
About 20 000 tonnes will be loading to the US. ESA wishes to have this session with the media yearly, sometimes it’s not possible, but would like to have this session with everyone from the media so that they know what our operations are about, how we operate.
In the past we used to have a problem where people didn’t understand the difference between the Eswatini Sugar Association and our members. So when they talk about the mills they come to ESA and when they want to buy sugar they go to the mills. It’s important for us to continuously clarify who is doing what.
Today we want to expose you as the media to the value chain that we have as an industry, starting from the growing of cane all the way to the disposal-distribution of sugar which is what we do,” the acting CEO said on Sunday.