By John Lee.

Reuters reports that Etihad Food Industries is looking to sign one- or two-year raw sugar importing contracts with large trading firms after its current contract with Alvean runs out in November.

Haidar al-Noumany, Commercial Director, told the news agency that Etihad imported 1.047 million tonnes of raw sugar last year for its Babil-based sugar refinery. Most of this came from Brazil, with around 25,000 tonnes from India.

The company produced 1.03 million tonnes of sugar in 2016, selling 940,000 tonnes, mostly to the Iraqi market, with 60 percent of that going to the Public Distribution System (PDS), Iraq’s food rationing programme. The company claims a 99.5 percent share of Iraq’s white sugar market.

The plant is expected to double its capacity with an expansion starting next year, which will enable exports to countries like Turkey, Syria and Jordan.

The company’s nearby vegetable oil refinery is expected to start production in March, reaching full capacity of 3,600 tonnes per day within six months. It will produce mostly sunflower oil, competing with Turkish vegetable oil, but also soybean oil, palm oil and corn oil.

It will need to import crude vegetable oils, with two 35,000-tonne cargoes already purchased from Cargill.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Etihad Food Industries will reportedly start production at its new $100-million edible oils refinery in Babylon by the end of the year.

Commercial Director Haidar Alnoumany told Reuters that the company started building the infrastructure two months ago, and when in production it will source crude (edible) oil from many origins like Argentina, Ukraine, Russia and the United States.

The refinery will process corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and palm oil, and aims to cover the needs of Iraq’s trade ministry (around 456,000 tonnes a year) and the domestic private market.

It will have a capacity of 3,000 tonnes a day with a refined oil storage capacity of 90,000 tonnes.

The plant is close to the company’s sugar refining plant, which started production last year and ramped up faster than expected, reducing the country’s dependence on white sugar imports.

(Source: Reuters)

(Cooking oil image via Shutterstock)