2 April 1999

Extra payment for sugar beet growers

SUGAR beet growers will receive an extra £2.20 for each adjusted tonne of contracted beet they delivered in the recently completed campaign, bringing the total to £31.61/t for April.

The adjustment includes full repayment of money retained to cover sales of carried forward sugar, since none was made, and part repayment of the agrimoney allowance.

The rest of this – about 65p/t – will be paid with interest in November provided sterling remains at or near current levels, says British Sugars Robin Limb. This would mean the total price would be about 40p/t below last years level.

C beet looks like making no more than £11.50/t, about £3/t less than last year. April payment has been set at £3.36/t, bringing the total so far to £7.90/t. Given the depressed state of the world sugar markets, growers can expect a November payment of about £3.50, says Mr Limb.

Beet used to make sugar carried forward to the current season has also been revalued to the current interim price, he adds. Due to the strengthening £ over the past year, the price has been revised down almost 7p for each tonne of contract and clawback beet delivered during 1997/98.

&#8226 Sugar production was the fourth highest on record this season, according to BS latest estimates. Growers achieved a clean yield of just over 48t/ha (19.4t/acre), down 14% on last year record crop.

However, sugar content was slightly higher at 17.36%, producing a sugar yield of 8.87t/ha (3.6t/acre).

"This is slightly above the five year average, and puts the UK in third position in Europe for the second year running," says Mr Limb. Only France and Austria didbetter.

Dirt tare was slightly up at 6.5%, but still good given the atrocious conditions, he adds. Crown tare was slightly lower at 6.6%. &#42