Astarta completed the 2022 sugar production season. In total, the сompany’s sugar mills processed c. 2mt of sugar beet grown in-house and from third-party farmers and produced 282kt of white sugar.
The sugar output content corresponded to 14.26% (the average Ukraine’s indicator was 13.98% per “Ukrtsukor”). Traditionally, 99% of sugar produced by Astarta corresponds to the highest quality category.
The 2022 processing season was the best in terms of processed volumes and sugar output compared to the previous two years.
At the same time, this season was the most difficult in the entire history of the сompany.
“In the spring of 2022, when the logistics collapse occurred due to the full-scale war, we faced the issue of whether we would be able to purchase coal, coke, limestone and other inputs in time and in the required quantity to prepare the plants for the season. With maximum focus on these topics, we provided our mills with all the necessary materials, including energy resources. At the same time, we dealt with personnel issues – it was important to retain and train the required number of skilled workers because due to mobilization there could be a shortage of them. During the season we had to work under constant threats of rocket attacks and power outages. But we were able to cope with the challenges and completed the season without a hitch,” said Yevhen Sadovyi, the Director of agricultural processing.
At the same time, the struggle for the harvest continued.
“The sugar beet acreage, mainly located in the Central and Western regions of Ukraine, did not suffer significant losses directly from the military actions, but Ukrainian sugar beet producers faced many other challenges. Due to increased costs of fertilizers, plant protection products and fuel, the cost of sugar beet cultivation has increased. Almost continuous rains during the harvesting period significantly complicated both harvesting and transportation of sugar beets from the fields to processing plants. I will add that in 2022 Astarta harvested 1.8mt of sugar beet. The yield was 56 t/ha,” says Yevhen Sadovyi.
Despite the war and the temporary suspension of large-scale investment projects, Astarta still found opportunities to implement several energy-saving projects at sugar factories to improve energy efficiency and product quality. After all, consumers and off-takers are in the centre of our attention, so one of the main tasks of the Company is to ensure sustainable cooperation and supply products exactly when they need them.
“We have developed a scheme of autonomous energy supply of enterprises in the case of blackout to ensure uninterrupted and uniform shipment of products to our partners throughout the year during the off-season” – says the director of agricultural processing, Astarta.
Based on the output by 21 sugar factories in Ukraine, Astarta’s share in the Ukrainian sugar production market amounted to 25% (according to preliminary data of Ukrtsukor).