Dubai's Al Khaleej sugar refinery has around 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar currently in store, its chairman Jamal Al Ghurair said on Monday.
Al Ghurair told Reuters in an interview that throughput at the facility, the largest sugar refinery in the world, is currently between 4,000 and 5,000 tonnes per day.
The refinery is about to start building an additional 600,000 tonnes of storage capacity, Al Ghurair added. Presently, it has 1 million tonnes storage capacity. Last year, the plant refined 1.4 million tonnes of sugar.
Al Ghurair estimated that the Dubai refinery had imported about 1.5 million tonnes of Indian raw sugar since the second half of last year, and expected to buy more.
"Indian sugar is as good as Brazilian (in quality terms)," he said.
He said Indian raw sugar loaded in Dubai was presently about $20 per tonne cheaper than Brazilian raw sugar.
Despite recent falling freight rates, Indian raw sugar remained more competitive than Brazilian raw sugar for the Dubai refinery, he added.
"We don't buy any Brazilian raw sugar at the moment," Al-Ghurair said.
"Brazilian sugar doesn't have a logistical advantage."
Al Ghurair was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the February 3-5 Dubai 2008 sugar conference, organised by Al Khaleej Sugar and Lausanne-based consultancy Kingsman SA. (Reuters)
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