MOROCCO – The Moroccan Sugar Company (Cosumar), a  leading player in Morocco’s sugar industry, is gearing up for the 2023/2024 sugar campaign with ambitious plans to enhance its performance.

Cosumar has announced its intention to allocate 57,000 hectares for sugar plant cultivation in the upcoming 2023/2024 campaign, marking an increase of 23,000 hectares compared to the previous campaign.

The breakdown of these cultivated areas is as follows: sugar beet will occupy 54,000 hectares, while the remaining 3,000 hectares will be dedicated to sugar cane cultivation.

The plantations will be distributed across various regions, including Doukkala, Tadla, Oriental, Gharb, and Loukkos.

The expansion plan is expected to mobilize an investment exceeding US$48 million, primarily for acquiring inputs and seeds.

It aims to yield a production of 487,000 tonnes of white sugar in 2024, accounting for approximately 40% of the country’s sugar requirements, which are estimated at around 1.2 million tonnes per year, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Cosumar emphasized that achieving its 2024 goals heavily relies on the continued availability of irrigation water.

Notably, Morocco recently faced four consecutive years of prolonged droughts, with 2022 being recorded as the driest year in the country’s history, featuring a rainfall deficit of 27%.

Established in 1929, Cosumar operates eight industrial units in Morocco, including a refinery based in Casablanca. The group sources its raw materials from a network of over 40,000 partner farmers.

Furthermore, Cosumar has expanded its operations outside Morocco, as it announced the production start in its new refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, in March 2020.

The Yanbu refinery, with a capacity of 850,000 tons of high-quality white sugar, aimed to serve the Saudi market, including major cities like Jeddah, Medina, and Mecca, and the MENA region, where sugar demand exceeds 4 million tons annually.

The Yanbu refinery, named Durrah sugar refinery, was a result of a joint venture between Cosumar and Saudi partners, including Consolidated Brothers Company, Industrial Project Development Company, and Wilmar. Cosumar Group holds a 43.27% stake in the refinery’s capital.

Cosumar’s Morocco-based refinery currently exports 400,000 tons of sugar to 40 countries in Africa and the MENA region.

Approximately 20 to 25 percent of the company’s turnover is attributed to exports. Cosumar imports half of its raw sugar from Brazil and produces the remainder locally.

With ambitious expansion plans and a strategic vision for the development and promotion of its export business, Cosumar aims to become a competitive regional agro-industrial player. The company, founded in 1929, employs 1,700 individuals.