Hippo Valley says it has secured US$5.2m from a local bank to fund Pezulu, a 1168 ha out-grower scheme meant to increase sugar cane output.

The funding is enough for half of the production, with other banks indicating a willingness to fund the balance.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe sugar industry has a single marketing desk at brown sugar level, administered by Zimbabwe Sugar Sales (ZSS).

The Company’s share of total industry sugar sales volume of 440 000 tons (2020: 413 000 tons) for the year under review was 50.0% (2020: 48.0%).

Total industry sugar sales into the domestic market for the year of 325 000 tons (2020: 324 000 tons) were marginally above prior year, having recovered from low sales during the first quarter of the financial year on account of then existing economic distortions.

In its outlook last year, the company said demand in the local market remained firm despite the Covid-19 induced low disposable incomes.

Industry export sales for the year recorded a 29% growth to 115 000 tons (2020: 89 000 tons) driven largely by a growth in the Kenya market despite a temporary suspension of sugar imports into that market in June 2020.

Price realisations on both the local and export markets remained relatively constant in current purchasing power terms.