The German sugar industry is taking positive stock of the past sugar campaign (2021/22). With a view to energy supply and ongoing competitive distortions, the industry nevertheless faces major challenges, according to a statement by the German Sugar Association (WVZ)
After the dry previous years, beet yields recovered to 82.4 t/ha, well up from 73 t/ha in the previous year. The decline in beet cultivation area was also halted. As a result, the 2021/22 beet campaign closed with an increase in production to 4.55 mn t of white sugar from 4.10 mn t in the previous year. Significantly better weather conditions in 2021 played a key role in this, while the regionally limited possibility of using neonicotinoids in areas severely affected by yellowing viruses also helped to limit yield losses.
These emergency approvals do not apply to the current growing season, WVZ also recalled. “The first virus-carrying aphids have already been spotted and beet growers are once again left without effective protection. In addition, they are once again exposed to unequal competition. This is because emergency approvals for the 2022 growing season have been issued in 12 of the 17 EU member states where sugar beet is grown,” said the CEO of WVZ, Günter Tissen. “The EU has failed to use the CAP negotiations as an opportunity to compensate for competitive disadvantages through coupled premium payments.” A pressing challenge is also the secure supply of energy. “For the future, this means using biogenic residues from our own production for energy. This will enable sugar to be produced almost independently of external energy sources and in a climate-neutral manner”. “However, until a needed changeover in EU regulations, “we must be able to rely on a secure supply of gaseous energy.”