Profiling the African Sugar Market & Future Trade Landscape - MECAS(18)08

The sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region has a particular position in the sugar market today. It holds the greatest potential for sugar consumption growth of any global region, with below-average per capita consumption and above-average population growth. It has abundant resource for the expansion of agricultural production, in general, and sugar production in particular. It also has potential for diversification into biofuels, cogeneration and cooking fuels. There have been government initiatives, including support from international bodies and the EU, that have resulted in development growth for national sugar industry in a few countries. Meanwhile, the industry in southern Africa holds some of the best production-cost credentials in the sugar world.

But this optimistic development outlook is overshadowed by changes in the EU sugar regime, which has resulted in reduced prices and import requirements from the main export destination for SSA producers. This slowing in EU import demand, after a decade of strong shipments, sees the regional producers needing to re-focus on local, regional and alternative markets, logistics and products in order to sustain the industry.

The objective of this paper is to identify and investigate the key structures and developments in national industries and to set out regional balances. Additionally, the flow of sugar between member states of regional trade agreements, as well as between different regions, will be reviewed. The need for an over-arching cross-regional free trade agreement will also be considered - recent efforts to progress the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are noted - before considering the future trading landscape. This includes future regional opportunities, a check on what EU potential remain and an inward-look at domestic opportunities for producers.

In the annex, a historic overview of the EU CAP reform is detailed.

 This paper has received significant contributions from producers and national authorities. We are pleased to receive this support and would like to express our gratitude for the contributions provided.



Production and Consumption		
          Key groupings in sub-Saharan Africa			
          SADC / SACU					

Free Trade Agreements			
          Regional and Cross regional FTA		
          African Continental FTA			
          Rights under EPA				

Future Trade Landscape			
          Facilitation of cross-regional trade	
          Product selection 				
          Raw exports to China			
          The domestic marketing landscape	
          National and international politics around Ethanol				


Annex I - 	The EU sugar regime        
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