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20 February 2024

Campaign at Nordzucker successfully completed under challenging conditions

Sugar from the campaign in the packaging
After an average of 135 days, Nordzucker successfully concludes one of the longest and, due to the weather, one of the most challenging campaigns.

Braunschweig, 20 February 2024 – Nordzucker’s 2023/2024 campaign ended on 14 February with the processing of the last beet at the Schladen plant, Germany. Nordzucker has produced sugar, animal feed, fertiliser and energy from sugar beet and sugar cane at 16 plants in seven European countries and Australia. Considerable rain in Europe meant that the beet grew strongly once again in late summer and autumn, resulting in exceptionally high beet yields in many growing regions. The average yield in the seven European countries was 75 tonnes per hectare. With the strong growth, the beet also absorbed a lot of water, which in combination with little sunshine led to unusually low sugar contents. Overall, the sugar yield per hectare is in line with the five-year average. In Australia, the sugar cane harvest produced an average yield with below-average sugar content.

“This campaign was unique and very successful, considering the difficult circumstances. The good cooperation of all those involved made it possible for us to jointly bring an extraordinarily high volume of beet from the fields to the factory and process it under these challenging conditions. We would like to thank everyone involved for their great commitment,” said Lars Gorissen, Chief Executive Officer at Nordzucker. Continuous rain, floods, flooded fields and roads, frost, limited clearing and logistics, complex processing in the factories: With an average of 135 days, this year’s campaign at the European sites is one of the longest and most challenging in recent years. And the crush in Australia, which ended at Christmas, was also characterised by prolonged rainfall.

Sugar beet is an attractive arable crop – now and in the future

“Sugar beet is and remains attractive for our growers – both economically and in terms of arable farming,” continues lars Gorissen. “A reliable partnership with our growers is important to us. That’s why we provided financial support to farmers who were unable to harvest beet in this extraordinary year due to the weather conditions.”

The more complex processing methods and financial support for growers led to higher costs. “Thanks to continued high sugar prices, we nevertheless expect a good Group result for 2023/2024,” says Alexander Bott, Chief Financial Officer at Nordzucker.

Very good and stable processing level in the sugar factories

“The 2023/2024 campaign ran at a very good and stable processing level at our plants. Nordzucker had already processed two thirds of the beet volume when the declining quality of the sugar beet made processing more difficult in some factories after Christmas. But our teams also mastered well. Particularly in the final days of the campaign, it was important to maintain the performance of the factories. We are proud that our employees processed so much beet during this exceptionally challenging and long campaign,” explains Alexander Godow, Chief Operational Officer.

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