Manufacture of Sugar in Eswatini
Eswatini is a major sugar producer on the continent. Sugar is the country’s main export commodity, and Eswatini is the 4th largest sugar producer in Africa and the 25th largest producer in the world. Sugar production accounts for over half of Eswatini‘s agricultural output and contributes about US$285m to the country’s gross domestic product. The industry employs more than 20,000 workers.
The area planted to sugar cane is forecast to increase by 8% to 70,000 hectares in 2019/20 with forecasts of good rainfall, increased available irrigation water, improvements in cane yields, and growth in the area planted. Sugar production is forecast to increase by 10% to 800,000 tons in 2019/20 based on an increase in sugar cane delivered to the sugar mills, better quality of sugar cane, and improved sugar mill efficiencies.
There has been a decline in exports to the EU, one of Eswatini’s main export markets, due to low sugar prices in the EU and changes in the EU’s sugar policies which include the removal of restrictions for domestic sugar beet production and ending preferential access for sugar imports from least developing countries. Cheap imports into the Southern African Customs Union have also affected its exports in the region.
This report focuses on the manufacture of sugar in Eswatini, and includes information on the state and size of the industry and the factors that influence it. There are profiles of four companies including the Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation, which produces two-thirds of sugar in the country and a significant quantity of ethanol, Ubombo Sugar which the second largest industry player, Crookes Plantations and Tambankulu Estates.