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High beet price and record sugar beet yield

2 April 2010

The Board of Royal Cosun has set the price for quota beet from the 2009/10 campaign at € 43.00 per tonne. The beet price was announced during the meeting of the cooperative's members' council in Nijkerk. A distribution will also be made on old shares of € 2.25 per tonne of quota beet with 16% sugar.

The beet price of € 43.00 per tonne excluding VAT is payable in respect of quota beet with average extractability and average sugar content. The price payable for surplus beet is € 30.44. The average price paid per tonne of both quota beet and surplus beet from the 2008 campaign had been € 39.44.

The quota beet price for 2009 is € 3.56 higher than that for the previous year despite a fall in the EU minimum price of € 1.54. For growers, the average yield per hectare was € 3,252 considerably higher than that for 2008 (€ 2,902), thanks chiefly to the record average yield of 14 tonnes of sugar per hectare. A further distribution of € 2.25 per tonne (2007: € 0.25) will be paid in respect of quota beet delivered on old shares (16% sugar equivalent).

Suiker Unie turned in an excellent result thanks to efficiency improvements in recent years, high sales and the absence of restructuring levies. Nearly all the other activities (Aviko, Sensus, Nedalco, SVZ and Unifine F&Bi) achieved better results in 2009 than in 2008 despite the economic recession, due in part to stringent cost saving measures.

Suiker Unie can again look back on a record-breaking sugar beet campaign. Owing to the all-time high yield of 14 tonnes of sugar per hectare, the campaign lasted 141 days and was not closed until 26 January. The two factories performed excellently, even during the winter conditions that commenced in mid-December.

The table below shows the harvest and sugar production figures for 2009 in comparison with 2008 (between brackets):

Total beet production (tonnes) 5,730,000 (5,200,000)
Beet sugar content (%) 17.7 (17.2)
Extractability (index) 91.8 (91.2)
Total sugar production (tonnes) 992,000 (861,000)

Cosun will publish its results for the past financial year on 24 March.