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GECX Group is involved in setting up a White Sugar Plant in Malawi, Africa, having already gained the project approval from the Malawi Government. Once the plant is completed, it will have a production target of 1,200,000 metric tonnes. The production will be sold on the NYSE Liffe market.
Sugar is historically one of the most widely-traded commodities in the world, it accounts for around 2% of the global dry cargo market. International sugar prices show great volatility, ranging from around 3 to over 60 cents per pound in the past 50 years.
In recent years health consciousness and the introduction of alternative sweeteners had a declining effect on the world's sugar consumption, but this was wiped out by urgent demand for cheap and clean fuels such as sugar-based ethanol.
Sugar can be produced either from sugar cane, which accounts for 70% of total production, or sugar beet. Both plants produce the identical refined sugar product. In the sugar cane market, Brazil, India, China and Thailand are the largest producers. In the sugar beet market, the largest producers are Europe, the US - particularly Minnesota, Idaho and North Dakota - and China and Japan.
Many countries subsidise sugar production heavily. The European Union, the United States, Japan and several developing countries subsidise domestic production and maintain high tariffs on imports. Sugar prices in these countries have often exceeded prices on the international market by up to three times.
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