ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria’s Cevital plans to double to 1 million tonnes its white sugar exports before the end of next year and will raise production capacity by 25 percent as it boosts business with Asia, its top executive said on Wednesday.
Issad Rebrab, unveiling for the first the volume of exports by North Africa’s biggest sugar refiner, told Reuters sales to foreign markets now stand at an annual 400,000-500,000 tonnes.
“Our output capacity is currently at 2 million tonnes ... We plan to increase our production capacity to 2.5 million tonnes next year,” Rebrab said in an interview.
The company has added clients in India and Sri Lanka to its portfolio of customers in Asia after Bangladesh, said Rebrab, Cevital’s sole owner.
“With the current capacity we managed not only to meet the national market needs but also to export a surplus,” Rebrab said on the sidelines of a business conference in Algiers.
In June, his son Malik Rebrab, director of Cevital’s sugar refinery, told Reuters the firm planned to raise the capacity of its plant in the Mediterranean city of Bejaia which he put then at 1.65 million tonnes.
Algeria, with its 35-million population, annually consumes about 1 million tonnes of white sugar. Cevital, Algeria’s sole sugar refiner, imports most of its raw sugar from Brazil but faces competition from Algerian importers of white sugar.
”Our main goal is to meet domestic demand and export the rest. This is how we can be competitive on the international market.
“We are planning to export around 1 million tonnes in 2011. The volume of exports is now at 400,000-500,000 tonnes,” Issad Rebrab added.
Cevital has said its main clients abroad include the Gulf region, the Middle east, Switzerland, Bangladesh and Tunisia.
“We are exporting to different regions in the world. In addition to Europe, Maghreb countries and Saudi Arabia, we export also to India and Sri Lanka,” Rebrab said.
Cevital has also been exporting cooking oil among other food products.