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MECAS(07)07 - Southern Africa: Key Drivers Impacting Sugar Export Potential

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Southern Africa (defined in this study as the 14 countries of the Southern African Development Community - SADC) is home to some of the globe’s most efficient and cost-competitive sugar industries, many with significant potential for further production expansion.

Domestic policy reform, integration under SADC and more broadly within COMESA, reform of the EU sugar regime, expanding access under the EU’s EBA initiative for LDC countries, EPA negotiations between the EU and the ACP region, and possible WTO outcomes under the Doha Development Round, are all crucial drivers impacting the sugar export potential of Southern Africa. Opportunities for diversification into fuel ethanol (and gel ethanol) are considerable and add further complexity to the outlook for sugar in the region. Based on announced investments and national sector plans, including those under the EU accompanying measures, SADC sugar output is projected to increase by close to 1.4 mln tonnes by 2010, to reach 6.5 mln tonnes – a rise of almost 28%. Most of the additional sugar produced will likely be sold to the European market under the Everything but Arms (EBA) initiative.

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