AGRANA – Start of Autumn Campaign 2008

AGRANA began its 2008 sugar beet campaign at its Austrian refineries in Tulln and Leopoldsdorf on 24 September.

Date: 24.09.2008

AGRANA began its 2008 sugar beet campaign at its Austrian refineries in Tulln and Leopoldsdorf on 24 September.

Due to the favourable weather conditions, the yield per hectare of Austrian sugar beet this year will be around 67 tonnes (prior year: 63 tonnes), meaning that the harvest is expected to amount to around 2.87 million tonnes (prior year: 2.52 million tonnes). The amount of sugar obtainable is forecast to reach the planned level of 447,000 tonnes or around 16% more than in the previous year (383,324 tonnes).

For the first time ever, in the 2008|09 season AGRANA will also produce organic sugar from organically-grown Austrian beet. This is in response to the growing importance of organic foods.


Sugar beet campaign within the AGRANA Group
Based on current forecasts, in the course of the 2008|2009 sugar beet campaign, AGRANA’s seven sugar refineries in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania are expected to produce approximately 675,000 tonnes of sugar (prior year: 711,080 tonnes) from a total of around 4.45 million tonnes of sugar beet (prior year: 4.62 million tonnes). Following the reform of the EU sugar market regime, the sugar quota allocated to AGRANA for the 2008|09 sugar marketing year is 618,502 tonnes, as compared with 735,565 tonnes in the previous period.

The AGRANA sugar refineries in Hrusovany and Opava|Czech Republic both started their sugar refining campaigns on 22 September. The Slovakian refinery in Sered began its sugar beet campaign on 24 September. This year’s sugar beet refining campaign at Hungary’s only remaining refinery, in Kaposvár, is scheduled to begin on 25 September. The campaign at the AGRANA sugar refinery in Roman|Romania is due to start on schedule on 2 October.


Potato starch campaign
The potato starch campaign at the AGRANA facility in Gmünd|Lower Austria started on 26 August. Including organic potato starch, this year’s harvest will be around 210,000 tonnes (prior year: 195,000 tonnes), thereby reaching the limit of the contractual quantity. The starch content is expected to be higher than in the prior period at around 18%. This in turn is expected to yield approximately 45,000 tonnes (prior year: 40,000 tonnes) of potato starch. 94% of the Austrian potato starch quota of 47,691 tonnes, unchanged from the prior period, is therefore expected to be taken up. The processing of organic food industry potatoes to make long-lasting products such as potato flakes, will remain at the level of the prior year with around 28,000 tonnes.


Wet corn campaign
Freshly harvested wet corn has been being processed at the corn starch mill in Aschach|Upper Austria since 8 September. Due to the favourable weather conditions and the additional growing area in response to the suspension of the 10% set-aside scheme by the European Commission, the harvest is expected to be higher than in the previous year. Based on current estimates, approximately 100,000 tonnes of wet corn (prior year: 103,000 tonnes) will be processed in the period up until mid December. The processing will then again be switched to dry corn.

Following the completion of a capacity expansion project in early summer 2008, the Hungrana bioethanol and isoglucose facility in Szabadegyhaza|Hungary is expected to process approximately 160,000 tonnes of wet corn in the current processing season; compared to 21,100 tonnes in the prior year.


Apple campaign
AGRANA plans to process 890,000 tonnes of apples (prior year: 513,000 tonnes) into apple juice concentrate at all of its juice concentrate facilities in Austria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Ukraine and China during the on-going 2008|09 processing season.


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