Sugar refinery Magyar Cukor Zrt plans to process 1.025 million tons of sugar beet harvested this year to produce 140,000-145,000 tons of refined sugar, the company said on Monday.
Magyar Cukor will start refining this year's crop on September 22 and finish 70-72 days later. Farmers supplying the company are expected to harvest slightly more than expected from around 20,000 hectares on which they raise sugar beet.
Because of a cut in EU sugar subsidies, the minimum guaranteed price farmers will receive for their sugar beet this year is Ft 8,900 per ton, down from Ft 11,500 last year. However, direct EU subsidies to farmers will offset about two-thirds of this difference.
In 2006-2007, Magyar Cukor, along with all sugar refineries in the EU, must pay a special duty of Ft 38 per kilogram of sugar into the EU budget to be used to provide compensation for sugar beet growers who quit the business. The special duty will rise to Ft 47 per kilogram in 2008.