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St Louis Vs Dangote Sugar – Beyond their sweetness, are they really the same?

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There have been debates among consumers regarding what brand of sugar leads the pack in terms of quality and value for money. To the unacquainted user, all table sugar is sugar, without any distinguishing factor, since they all take the form of white shiny crystalline grains. But this is a little off from reality.

All sugars are not created equal. The product distinction starts from its primary raw material and ends in its application. Depending on such applications, some perform better, or are more beneficial than others.

How they make their sugar

Sugar can be made from two main raw materials. Cane sugar (or sugar cane), and beet sugar (a variant of the beet root plant). To an extent, this is where the two of the well-known brands in Nigeria – St Louis Sugar and Dangote Sugar– differ.

St Louis Sugar
Source: Online

Cane sugar is a grass that stores sugar in its stalk. It grows mostly in tropical or warm countries. Being a grass, it grows above the ground and is exposed to sunlight and fresh air.

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Sugar beet, on the other hand, is a root plant, meaning that it grows deep under the ground, and in the dark. Its root is fleshy and rich in saccharose, containing an average of 16% to 20% natural sugar. It grows mostly in cold regions like Europe.


Source: Dangote Sugar Plc

Thus, the raw material used to obtain the final product depends on the location of the manufacturer, and its proximity to the raw material source.

Cane vs Beet

  • European manufacturers mostly utilize beet in the production of sugar for two main reasons: Beet is more readily available in large quantities on the continent because of the climate, and is very cheap.
  • Secondly, the use of cane sugar is discouraged in Europe through the imposition of tariffs on its importation, while the use of sugar beets is promoted in order to protect its own farmers and local industry.
  • However, a specific quota of cane sugar imports from strictly developing countries is allowed duty-free into the EU (to encourage developing countries), allowing producers such as Saint Louis Sucre to import cane sugar for the manufacture of cane sugar products.

But due to the EU’s Sugar policy, cane sugar producers are having a tough time. Saint Louis Sucre, in 2015, planned to cut down on its cane refining operations due to the uncompetitive nature of cane compared to beet. Cane is refined in 2 processes, while beet requires only 1 process.

Market consumption

Beet is used in about 80-85% of European sugars, while cane sugar accounts for the remaining 15-20%. On the contrary, globally, sugarcane accounts for 80% of the sugar produced in the world; the majority of the remaining 20% is made from sugar beet.

The implication of this is that the widely popular St Louis sugar, which is made in France but imported into Nigeria by the Milan group, and Indian family business, is very likely made from sugar beets, while Dangote sugar, as well as the other local brands, are made from cane sugar. Dangote Sugar owns cane sugar plantations through its subsidiary Savannah Sugar in Kogi state, as does BUA.

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Does this have any implication on the quality of the final product?

To most retail users who use sugar to sweeten their foods and liquids, there isn’t a detectable difference. It is for this segment of users that the saying “all sugar is sugar” applies.

Due to this undetectable difference, most beet sugar producers do not attempt to label the product to say if it is made from beet or cane. But most cane producers would proudly say that their product is made from cane because it takes more effort to refine cane sugar.

In fact, it is said that if a bag or box of sugar is not labeled “pure cane sugar” or “100% cane sugar”, then you are probably buying a product that contains beet sugar.

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However, for those that use sugar for cooking, baking pastries and confectionaries and for other culinary uses, an important distinction exists, which makes a very significant difference in the quality of their final product.

One of the differences between the two products for this set of users is that cane caramelizes (turns to caramel) very beautifully, while beet burns and turns blackish. Also, products made from beet, end up having coarse texture, while cane products smooth and spongy. Generally, it is said that confectionary products made with cane sugar are superior to those made with beet sugar.

It’s all down to the money

For the retail user, it all comes down to the value for money option. Since most people can’t distinguish between the difference, they may rely on the size of their pockets when choosing a brand. Nigeria discriminates against imported refined sugar in order to boost its local production in Nigeria. Imported refined sugar faces a 35% tariff while raw sugar to be refined locally faces a 5% tariff. Local refiners also get a 5-year tax break. This makes local brands more affordable and ultimately more demanded than the imported alternatives. Currently, a 500-gram pack of St Louis Sugar sells for N370, while a similar pack for Dangote sugar sells for N250.

The proportion of beet in Nigeria’s market right now is not as large as cane. However, this might be set change this year, when an embargo on European sugar exports is lifted in October.

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Beet sugar is cheaper, and given the proximity of Europe to West Africa, it might make more financial sense for refiners to start using beet – that is, ignoring any technological hurdles. Also, depending on whether government ban stay up, we may increasingly see the influx of beet sugars.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. babestell

    September 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    See i didnt know all these. So St Loius isnt even manufactured in Nigeria. Wawwuuuu!!!

  2. Toju Daniels

    September 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks Yekini. Indeed enlightening.

  3. BUKOLA ADEBOYE

    September 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    insightful. thank you

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Currencies

Exchange Rate Unification: CBN devalues official rate to N380/$1

The CBN has devalued the official exchange rate for the second time this year.

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Exchange Rate Unification: CBN devalues official rate to N380/$1, Nigerian banks have written off N1.9 trillion impaired loans in past 4 years, CBN sandbox operations, Stirling Trust Company Limited

Information on the website of the central bank reveals the CBN has adjusted the official exchange rate to N380/$1 from N360.1/$1. The adjustment occurred on Thursday August 6th 2020.

This suggest the CBN may have unified the exchange rate in line with the promise made by Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

CBN: Devalues Exchange Rate.

In the data seen by Nairametrics, the Central Bank priced the official exchange rate as follows;

READ MORE: Exchange rate gains big at NAFEX as forex turnover pops 916%

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Current (Previous)

Buy- N379 (N360)

Central – N379.5 (N360.5)

Sell – N380 (N360.1)

There were no official press releases explaining the reason for the devaluation or adjustment as the central bank likes to call it. This is now the second devaluation of the official exchange rate after the rate was adjusted from N307 to N361 on the 20th of March 2020. The CBN has also adjusted the exchange rate for the SMIS window.

READ MORE: IMF list unpopular policies CBN must reverse

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Exchange Rate Unification?

In June, the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele assured investors in June that the CBN will unify the exchange rate around the NAFEX rate in line with the conditions of the world bank.

“We will continue to pursue unification around the NAFEX Market”.  Emefiele

However, this has taken longer that required and may have resulted in the postponement of a planned world bank meeting where an approval of the initial $3 billion loan from the world bank would have been obtained in September and October for the Federal and State Governments respectively.

One of the conditions for the disbursement of the loan was a unification of the exchange rate which most analysts believe the CBN has dithered on for months.

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READ MORE: BOOM: Nigeria’s total debt portfolio hits at N27.4 Trillion

Nigeria’s exchange rate at the NAFEX closed at N386/$1 on Friday a N6 premium from the Central Bank’s buy rate. However, this is closer when compared to the N26 disparity when the exchange rate was N360/$1.

The latest adjustment however indicates this could be the CBN’s biggest move yet at exchange rate unification as the rate is closer to if not the same with the N380/$1 announced in July for the SMIS window.

READ ALSO: Bitcoin robbers are cashing in as they transfer $7 million worth of BTCs

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World Bank debacle

The World Bank committee working on the loan was meant to present to their board on August 6th 2020 but it appears this has now been moved to a latter date. Critics suggest this may have been due to the delay to meet conditions precedent to granting the initial $1.5 billion loan some of which incudes the $1.5 billion loan.

“The amount we are raising in the first instance is $1.5 billion for FG and around September October we are hoping to close out on the facility meant for states and the amount is meant to be $1-1.5 billion.” Ahmed

According to Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance  Nigeria was raising “in the first instance is $1.5 billion for FG and around September October we are hoping to close out on the facility meant for states and the amount is meant to be $1-1.5 billion.” The implication of the delay in obtaining the loans suggest states banking on the world bank facility will not have to wait beyond October should the world bank refuse to reconvene next week.

 

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FEATURED

How new CAMA 2020 will enhance SMEs’ ease of doing business

President Buhari recently assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020.

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Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA)

The new Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 is expected to enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The new document has repealed and replaced the extant CAMA 1990 with key amendments that would remove some bottlenecks from the old act.

The revised Act will make Nigeria’s business environment as competitive as its counterparts around the world.

Back story: Nairametrics had reported when President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: Corporate organisations now pay N200,000 for unsolicited premises inspection in Abuja 

He explained that some innovative processes and procedures were included in the new document to ease the operations of companies. Some of them are the introduction of Statements of Compliance, which replaced “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies.

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READ ALSO: Prestige Assurance could be a good opportunity if it gets its recapitalization right

Provisions that aid ease of doing business:

* Provision of single-member/shareholder companies- Section 18 (2) of the new CAMA now makes it possible to establish a private company with only one member or shareholders.

* Restriction on multiple directorship in public companies- S.307(1) of the Act frowns at a person from being a director in more than five (5) public companies at a time.

* Appointment of Company Secretary now optional- Going forward, the appointment of company secretary for private company is optional. According to Section 330 (1) of the new CAMA, the appointment is only mandatory for public companies.

* A Director can’t hold the office of a Chairman, CEO – According to Section 265 (6), private firms are now restricted from appointing a director to hold the office of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

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* Procurement of Common seal not mandatory – Contrary to the previous document that insisted that every company must procure a Common Seal, CAMA 2020, according to Section 98, states that most jurisdictions around the world have expunged the requirement from their laws.

* Concept of Limited Liability Partnership and Limited Partnership – The new act combines the organisational flexibility and tax status of a partnership with the limited liability of members of a company.

* Virtual AGMs – New act made provision for virtual annual general meetings (AGM), provided that such meetings are conducted in accordance with the Articles of Association of the company. This is expected to facilitate participation from any location at minimal costs.

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* SMEs exempted from appointing auditors – Small companies or any company with a single shareholder are no longer mandated to appoint auditors at the AGM to audit their financial records.

Why it matters:
Nigeria is largely dominated by Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs). Making registration easier for them brings in more businesses into the formal space. This also enhances tax revenue for the government.

The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) was promulgated in 1990 to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 8th of August 2020, 453 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 46,140 confirmed cases.

On the 8th of August 2020, 453 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,903 samples across the country.

To date, 46,140 cases have been confirmed, 33,044 cases have been discharged and 942 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 314,632 tests have been carried out as of August 8th, 2020 compared to 310,729 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 8th August 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 46,140
  • Total Number Discharged – 33,044
  • Total Deaths – 942
  • Total Tests Carried out – 314,632

According to the NCDC, the 453 new cases were reported from 20 states- FCT (75), Lagos (71), Benue (53), Delta (39), Borno (30), Enugu (25), Plateau (24), Osun (20), Abia (19), Oyo (17), Kaduna (16), Kano (13), Ebonyi (13), Ogun (9), Kwara (7), Ondo (6), Gombe (3), Ekiti (2), Akwa Ibom (1) and Rivers (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 15,768, followed by Abuja (4,376), Oyo (2,860), Edo (2,376), Rivers (1,939), Kano (1,622), Delta (1,596), Kaduna (1,566), Ogun (1,439), Plateau (1,421), Ondo (1,284), Enugu (905), Ebonyi (851), Kwara (833), Katsina (746), Borno (682), Abia (644), Gombe (629),  Osun (625), and Bauchi (576).

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Imo State has recorded 476 cases, Benue (409), Nasarawa (367), Bayelsa (346),  Jigawa (322), Akwa Ibom (235), Niger (226), Adamawa (185), Ekiti (161), Sokoto (154), Anambra (142),  Kebbi (90), Zamfara (77), Taraba (72), Cross River (68), Yobe (67), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
August 8, 202046140453942633044121547
August 7, 202045687443936632637121147
August 6, 202045244354930332430118847
August 5, 2020448904579271732165117987
August 4, 2020444333049101431851116727
August 3, 202044129288896820663225707
August 2, 202043841304888520308226457
August 1, 202043537386883420287225677
July 31, 202043151462879119565227077
July 30, 202042689481878519270225417
July 29, 202042208404873519004223317
July 28, 202041804624868818764221727
July 27, 202041180648860218203221177
July 26, 202040532555858217374223007
July 25, 2020399774388561116948221737
July 24, 2020395395918451216559221357
July 23, 2020389486048332016061220547
July 22, 202038344543813815815217167
July 21, 202037801576805415677213197
July 20, 2020372255628011215333210917
July 19, 2020366635567891115105207697
July 18, 202036107653778614938203917
July 17, 202035454600772314633200497
July 16, 202034854595769914292197937
July 15, 202034259643760613999195007
July 14, 2020336164637541013792190707
July 13, 202033153595744413671187387
July 12, 2020325585717401613447183717
July 11, 2020319876647241513103181607
July 10, 2020313235757092012795178197
July 9, 202030748499689512546175137
July 8, 2020302494606841512373171927
July 7, 2020297895036691512108170127
July 6, 202029286575654911828168047
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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