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Iraq's new sugar refinery set to capitalize on local demand, but EU waits in the wings

With Claudiu Covrig and Tim Worledge

March 14, 2016 10:40:05 EST (7:13)

The new Etihad sugar refinery in Babylon, Iraq, is helping to turn the Middle East and North Africa into more of a refined sugar powerhouse, but big expansion plans are set to come online just as the European Union's sugar industry returns to the world market. Claudiu Covrig, senior agriculture analyst, talks with Tim Worledge, Platts agriculture editorial director, about his recent tour of the new refinery, which is capable of producing 1 million mt of white sugar a year and is set to double its capacity by 2018.


Changing production capacity in the MENA region also calls into question EU sugar, exports of which have been capped in recent years by the World Trade Organization. As the regulatory framework is dismantled ahead of 2017, the EU could also return to global markets as an exporter of white sugar. While producers are hoping for better times, new capacity and production may further eat into the financial health of the sector. Covrig shares his analysis of capacities, consumption, and costs in this video.


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