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SSA TOTAL SALES REVENUE UP 1.5% TO E4.6 BILLION

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EZULWINI – Amid the tough trading conditions and effects of El-Nino drought, the Swaziland Sugar Association’s (SSA) total sales revenue increased by 1.5 per cent from E4,57 billion to E4,64 billion, mainly supported by sales to the domestic market.


The 2016/17 annual integrated report reflects the domestic market comprising the wider Southern African Customs Union (SACU) had continued to be of primary importance in supporting the sustainability of the industry. SSA said during the year under review, the market realised a huge influx of low-priced imports over two thirds of which came in over the last four months of the year. “Most of the Swazi sugar had been sold by the time the imports started flowing, thus reducing the extent to which this imported sugar displaced local sales,” reads the report in part.


Chief Executive Officer Phil Mnisi reported that the association realised improvements in the average sugar selling price, which supported a less proportionate reduction in total revenues. Mnisi said the dwindling returns from Swaziland’s major export market - the European Union - continued to pose a significant challenge for the sector’s long-term sustainability. He said one of the major strategies being embarked upon in mitigating the negative impact of the EU sugar sector reforms was to pursue a reduction in the industry’s exposure to the EU market.

“Since the domestic market can only absorb a limited volume it has become necessary to look for alternative markets,” Mnisi emphasised during presentation of the integrated report held at the Royal Swazi Spa Hotel yesterday. The CEO said the SSA’s ability to pursue this strategy was, however, constrained in the past year as the production reduction meant that the industry had to focus primarily on meeting its long-term contractual obligations including to the EU.


SSA successfully negotiated a restructuring of EU exports - including deferral of supplies to the next season - in order to allow the production in the reporting year to be sold to relatively higher paying markets. Due to the reduction in production, there was a drop in sales to all markets. “EU sales reduced by 13.6 per cent, while sales to the region and SACU fell by 64.3 per cent and 4.12 per cent, respectively.




 



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