ASTARTA finished the 2020 agricultural production season by harvesting corn (411 thousand tonnes) and sugar beets (almost 1.5 million tonnes). Considering the negative weather impact on plants throughout the entire year, namely the prolonged drought in the eastern and central regions of Ukraine and spring frosts in the West, yields are predictively lower than last year. Thus, the average gross yield of corn was 6.8 t/ha, and sugar beet — 42.9 t/ha. However, the sugar content of beets remained at a high level and averaged c. 17.0% at ASTARTA (compared to 16.3% Ukrainian average according to «Ukrtsukor» data as of 11.12.2020).
As the level of moisture in soil remains unsatisfactory in the Eastern regions of operations, the company envisages amending cultivation technologies next year. In particular, these include lowering the seeding rate to give a larger area to plants fornutrition and additional inter-row application of liquid fertilizers. There are also plans to increase irrigation provided that the state enables an access to reclamation systems.
Valeriy Sokolenko, ASTARTA Executive Director comments:
– Despite all the negative factors during this season, ASTARTA remains the leader in the sugar industry. The company’s sugar plants produced 226 thousand tonnes of sugar. Thus, we are going to retain around 22% share of the sugar market in Ukraine.
ASTARTA increased grade A sugar in total output to 99.0% (versus 95.5% in 2019), as well as about 70 thousand tonnes of extra-class sugar was produced. Another year for ASTARTA’s plant to have demonstrated the the highest sugar yield per tonne of the raw material processed. Namely, the Yareskivsky sugar plant has the highest rate in Ukraine producing almost 168 kg of sugar from a tonne of sugar beets, while the average rate in Ukraine is 136 kg/t. These results achieved due to our focus on operational efficiency and skills upgrading, which we will continue to apply next year.
Based on European logistics scheme “field-plant”, it was also possible to reduce the losses of sugar beets during their unloading and storage at the pick-up section. Such an approach, in combination with the ASTARTA’s operational improvement system (OIS), has allowed to increase the share of grade A sugar in total production.