Hippo Valley Sugar production jumps 27% in Q1’FY22

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  • Sugarcane production increases to 128 044
  • Total industry sugar sales up 52.1%
  • Industry sugar export sales down by 66%

Harare- Zimbabwe Stock Exchange(ZSE) listed agro-based counter, Hippo Valley Estates has recorded a 27% increase in sugarcane production for the first quarter ended 30 June 2021 (Q1 FY2022) to 128 044 tonnes from 101 063 tonnes recorded during the same period last year.

Production for the period under review was buoyed by a satisfactory factory performance following a successful off crop maintenance program.

The Company’s share of total industry sugar sales volume of 98 718 tonnes were 52.1% firmer than 98 572 tonnes during the same comparable period last year.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, domestic market sales during the quarter scaled up 31% to 86 843 tonnes from 66 492 tonnes recorded prior year during the same period.

“… sales into the domestic market for the quarter were 31% above same period prior year due to a combination of strong demand and the non-repeat of supply containment measures implemented in prior year to curb then existing speculative trading on account of price distortions, “the Company’s chairperson Canaan Dube said in a statement accompanying the trading update.

However, sugar exports were 66% lower at 10 873 tonnes from 32 080 tonnes during the same comparable period last year due to maximised sales of sugar in the local market and periodic temporary import restrictions which continued to characterise the Kenya market, a key regional deficit market.

Meanwhile, Hippo Valley’s parent Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe has delivered 7 000 tonnes of maize to the Grain Marketing Board to improve food security in the region while 1 216 tonnes of seed maize were produced in partnership with the country’s major ZSE listed seed house, SeedCo.

Currently, a total of 700 hectares are under winter wheat and sugar beans production.

Project Kilimanjaro with a capacity of 4000 hectares remain suspended due to delays in concluding funding arrangements with financial institutions pending further clarity on land tenure, both of which are being progressed.

“The project which is being undertaken by Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe in partnership with Government and local banks, has seen a total of 2 700 hectares of virgin land being bush cleared and ripped and 562 hectares planted to sugarcane in prior years,” said Dube.

The Company awaits the finalisation of the 99-year lease relating to Hippo Valley North which comprises of 23 979 hectares while freehold title on Hippo Valley South which covers 16 433 hectares remains maintained.

Long cropping cycle of sugarcane, current cane expansion and yield improvement initiatives are expected to increase production in future seasons as Lowveld dams hold sufficient stored water for approximately three seasons of irrigation at normal water duty after a good rainfall season.

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