French sugar beet area will jump 20% next season, as farmers increase production ahead of the scrapping of the European Union sugar quota system, the French beet-growers group CGB said.
CGB sees French plantings around 400,000 hectares this year, suggesting an 80,000 hectare increase.
European Union sugar production quotas will be removed in the autumn of 2017, allowing beet sugar production to rise.
Fighting for market share
At the AgriRisk forum in London on Tuesday, Andree Defois of Strategie Grains forecast sugar beet area in the EU to increase by close to 15% between the 2016 and 2021 harvests, in response to the end of quotas.
Strategie grains saw sugar beet up about 8% in 2017-18, at 1.61m hectares, up about 120,000 hectares across the bloc.
Ms Defois said the increase in sugar beet area would be rapid, as sugar producers fought for market share in the deregulated markets.
Rising isoglucose production
As well as removing quotas on sugar production, restrictions will also be lifted for the production of isoglucose, the starch based sweetener.
Isoglucose from corn is currently a major sweetener in the US, where it makes up about 90% of caloric sweetener usage in soft drinks.
In the EU, by contrast, total isoglucose use is about 5% of sugar volumes, and makes up about 10% of caloric sweeteners used by the drinks industry.
“Competition between sugar and isoglucose will be quite fierce for the medium term,” Ms Defois said.
“Taking all this into account, we forecast EU potential consumption could increase from about 0.7 tonnes now to 1.7tonnes in 2021-22.
Higher isoglucose use could replace domestic EU sugar consumption, reducing imports and potentially opening up space for exports.
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/french-sugar-beet-area-to-soar-20percent-next-year–10222.html)