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Magyar Cukor imports 20K tons of cane sugar from Brazil - newspaper

Sugar-refining company Magyar Cukor is importing 20,000 tons of cane sugar from Brazil for processing at the unit's plant in Kaposvár (S Hungary), the business daily Világgazdaság reports.

Magyar Cukor is a subsidiary of Vienna-based Agrana, itself a member of the German Südzucker group.

Magyar Cukor Chairman of the Board Zoltán Bráth told the newspaper that the unit has already imported 8,000 tons of cane sugar from Brazil in order to begin the refining season before the fall harvest of Hungary's sugar-beet crop. Bráth said that Magyar Cukor hopes to break even on the import of cane sugar from Brazil, adding that the company intends to request authorization from the European Union import cane sugar from the country again next year.

Világgazdaság noted that the EU's 2006 sugar-market reform placed a quota of 105,000 tons on the amount of sugar that could be refined annually in Hungary, meaning that the country must import 195,000-215,000 tons of sugar per year to satisfy domestic demand.

Bráth told the newspaper that Magyar Cukor is importing the cane sugar to the unit's refinery in Kaposvár from the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, via the Danube River harbor in Adony (C Hungary).

The Agrana-owned unit is the only sugar refinery currently operating in Hungary, down from 14 at the time of the country's transition to free market just more than twenty years ago. No cane sugar has been refined in Hungary for over 100 years, the newspaper noted.

Agrana operates plants in 11 countries in the European Union, including six in Hungary, as well as Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Bosnia, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, South Africa, China, South Korea and Australia.