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Nordzucker Post 04/2022 - 25 October 2022

Campaign 2022/23: energy supply for the factories secured

Many Nordzucker factories have currently processed about a third of their planned beet volume. In most factories, the campaign has run without any major disruptions so far. The sugar contents in many regions are at a higher level than in previous years. This is due to the weather (another dry year). However, at the same time this has driven yield expectations below the average of the last five years.

Unlike in previous years, the focus of campaign preparations this year was on securing energy. Some factories were switched from gas to heating oil. An impending shortage of gas made this step necessary.

As in previous years, the Schladen, Kėdainiai and Nykøbing factories first processed the organic beet before starting to process the conventional beet.

The start-up phase did not always go smoothly this year following the conversions at the factories. After a short time, however, all the factories were at their performance level. Alexander Godow, COO, says: “The start of the campaign this year was particularly challenging after the conversions to other energy sources. I am happy and proud of our employees, who have worked particularly hard this year to get the campaign up and running at the factories.”

Grubbing the sugar beet to supply the factories also caused problems at the beginning because of the dry and hard soils. After the rainfall in September, however, the beet is better to grub and an increase in mass is expected. The sugar content has dropped by about one percent from well over 18 percent after the rainfall.

The railway project in northern Germany has entered its third year. Once again, sugar beet is transported by rail from Schleswig-Holstein to Uelzen and further experience is being gained. The beet is loaded at the railway stations in Jübeck and Brunsbüttel. A total of 70,000 tons are to be transported. The transport has started well.

If processing can take place as planned at all factories, the campaign will be finished by the end of January 2023. In Finland, we expect the campaign to be done at the end of November this year. Unfortunately, the yield expectations for sugar beet are below average for Nordzucker this year. The summer drought is leading to lower beet yields in many countries and the expected slightly higher sugar content cannot compensate for this shortfall. Even if the rainfall that began in September could still bring increases, the sugar contents dropped very quickly.

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