Nordzucker concludes the 2015/2016 campaign across the Group
The Nordzucker Group has ended the 2015/2016 beet campaign with average sugar yields – albeit with large regional variation. The 13 plants were operating for an average of 88 days, which was considerably shorter than in the previous years. In order to counter market pressure due to oversupply, the acreage for the cultivation of sugar beet was reduced significantly in all of Nordzucker’s growing regions in 2015.
Nordzucker AG, Braunschweig, brought the Group’s sugar beet campaign for 2015/2016 to a close on 1 January 2016. In total, the company processed some 12.5 million tonnes of beet in its 13 plants across the Group (previous year: 18.3 million tonnes). Clauen in Germany was the last plant to finish the campaign after almost 102 days.
With just a few exceptions, the processing output across all the plants was very stable throughout the entire campaign. Axel Aumüller, Chief Operating Officer, emphasized: “This is the result of targeted maintenance and of preparation for longer campaigns intended to run as smoothly as possible.” Although the campaign was considerably shorter this year, he continued, the individual sites’ production capacity, in particular, would bode well for the future: “This year’s campaign clearly bears the hallmark of the market and demonstrates that we can do both: extremely long campaigns as in the previous year, but also relatively short ones, such as this year. We are able to deal with fluctuations in the market flexibly, because we have the appropriate technologies at our disposal.”
Seen across all countries, this year’s sugar yield falls within the long-term average, however there are also very large regional variations.
“The late sowing and the rather wetter and cooler spring, in particular, weren’t exactly optimal for beet growth. From late summer onwards, the beet was then able to recover in many areas,” said Chief Agricultural Officer, Dr Lars Gorissen, summarizing the growing year. “In light of this, the above-average per hectare yields in Germany and Denmark are particularly pleasing.”
Below is an overview of the results by country:
After an average of 97 days, a very good campaign for the five German plants is coming to a close. Despite delayed sowing and a laboured start, at around 13.0 tonnes per hectare (previous year: 14.3 tonnes), the yields have exceeded expectations. Good-quality beet right up to the last day made the processing in the plants easier.
Following the start-up phase, the campaign in the two Danish plants was also largely free of interruption. As a result, 13.1 tonnes of sugar was produced per hectare (previous year: 14.2 tonnes). Here, too, the plants in Nakskov and Nykøbing processed above-average hectare yields at a stable level in an average of 82 days up until 23 December.
The campaign at the Örtofta plant was, admittedly, short this year due to a reduction in the area under cultivation, however the yields were at a good, average level. The plant in Sweden processed more than a million tonnes of beet over 73 days, resulting in a sugar yield of 10.8 tonnes per hectare (previous year: 12.2 tonnes).
Säkylä in Finland was the first plant to complete its campaign back in November with a somewhat below-average sugar yield of 5.3 tonnes per hectare (previous year: 7.6 tonnes). This was down to a rainy summer and early night frosts. The virtually uninterrupted processing period lasted a total of 56 days.
The Kedainiai plant in Lithuania was operating at a high level over 81 days into December. Despite strong variations in weather conditions – with an extremely dry summer and autumn – sugar yields at an average level of 9.6 tonnes per hectare (previous year: 11.9 tonnes) were achieved.
Weather conditions did not help matters in Poland this year. An extreme dry spell led to significantly below-average yields. With an average sugar yield of 10.0 tonnes per hectare, last year’s good level (11.9 tonnes) was not reached. The campaign lasted an average of 81 days and closed on 25 December.
Processing in the Slovakian plant in Trenčianska Teplá ran, without any problems at all, for 97 days until 23 December. At 9.9 tonnes per hectare (previous year: 12.6 tonnes), the sugar yields were down considerably on the previous year, however they remained within the long-term average.