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Ukraine Produced 2.33 Million Tons of Sugar, Researcher Says

Ukraine’s sugar facilities produced 2.33 million metric tons of the sweetener from beets in the season started Sept. 1, Dnipropetrovsk-based agricultural researcher APK-Inform said, citing Ukrtsukor.

The sweetener came from 77 refiners in the season, which is now complete, Mykola Yarchuk, the head of the sugar producers’ group Ukrtsukor said, according to a statement on APK-Inform’s website today. Domestic demand for sugar is 1.86 million tons a year, he said.

Future production may decline if a draft bill on land reform, which is to be discussed in coming months, goes ahead, Yarchuk said in another statement today, which was published on the producers’ group’s website.

Kiev-based Ukrtsukor has asked President Viktor Yanukovych’s government to continue the current policy which enables agricultural companies to lease as much land as they want, according to the statement.

The request comes before parliament debates the draft law which would restrict the amount of land agricultural companies can lease. Two-thirds of sugar refiners in the country, or around 40 facilities, would have to stop production if the draft bill is approved, Ukrtsukor’s Yarchuk said.

The sale of agricultural land has been banned in Ukraine since its independence in 1991.

Ukraine’s parliament resumes sessions on Feb. 7 after a winter break.

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