The French sugar manufacturer Tereos sabre in its African activities

Hit hard by the fall in prices, the sugar manufacturer confirmed that it will soon cease its activities in South Africa and Kenya.

With a price halved over the past three years, the fall in sugar prices continues to cause casualties in the sector. In line with the difficulties faced by many of its peers, the French group Tereos, the world’s second largest sugar producer, announced on Thursday 29 August that it would end its operations in South Africa and Kenya by the end of March 2020, as part of a review of its global strategy. « Tereos Commodities plans to develop its organisation in certain geographical areas. A development, editor’s note] that will be achieved by closing its offices in South Africa and Kenya, and ending its trade and distribution activities in these countries, by 31 March 2020 at the latest, » the company justifies in a statement.

Sugar price evolution over 5 years (in dollars per pound): a price in free fall…

A reduction in African sail area that contrasts significantly with Tereos’ initial ambitions. When it opened its trade office in Nairobi in 2016, the company stated that « its objective was to meet the growing demand for sugar in Africa ». Since then, the appalling situation on the world sugar market, affected in particular by a sharp increase in supply linked to the end of the quotas introduced in the European Union in 2017, has put an end to this African tropism. The French group has also restructured some of its other international activities in recent months.

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Owner of the La Perruche and Beghin Say brands in particular, Tereos, affected like other sugar operators by the sudden drop in prices and the disappearance of the European safety net, announced in mid-June an annual turnover down 7% to €4.43 billion, while its results fell into the red with a loss of €242 million for the fiscal year ended 31 March.