German sugar refiner Nordzucker has said it expects higher sugar production this season compared to the previous season, after the beet crop in north Germany beat expectations.

Nordzucker, Europe’s second-largest sugar refiner, expects to produce 1.34m tonnes of sugar in 2003/04, compared to 1.24m tonnes in 2002/03, CEO Ulrich Noehle told Reuters.

Although drought and a heat wave caused damage to sugar beet crops this summer in south Germany, crops in the north, where Nordzucker sources much of its supplies, were in much better condition, Noehle said.

“We delayed the start of harvesting for about a week after rain fell in September and beets did recover,” he said. “The campaign is now running exceptionally well.” 

Noehle said Nordzucker would post a “satisfactory” result in profit for 2003/04 in Germany, Reuters reported.