From Pakistan to Louisiana, with sugar on top

Looking for a cheap sugar-cane-crushing mill? Try calling Lahore.

Published February 6, 2007 4:06PM (EST)

The Associated Press of Pakistan is reporting that a Pakistan-based manufacturer of heavy engineering equipment is about to "make history" by exporting a large sugar-cane-crushing mill to Louisiana. (Thanks to the Oil Drum for the link.)

OK, maybe "reporting" is a strong word. The news item is little more than a press release for Qadbros Engineering, a division of Lahore-based Qadri Group that describes itself as a specialist in the manufacturer of "bigger sugar mills." But sometimes, even in as unlikely a place as a press release, the truths of globalization can be found. You need to find your niche in the global economy if you want to thrive, and Qadbros Engineering looks like it may have found a sweet (so to speak) spot.

Globally, the price of sugar has been falling for more than a year, partly because of government-subsidized overproduction, but with the increasing frenzy over all things biofuels, the demand for sugar-processing machinery may be set for a longtime surge.

The world's cane processing and distillation industry is witnessing an upheaval in terms of new capacity addition. With Brazil leading the increase in sugarcane crushing and distillation capacity worldwide, this scenario has led to an unprecedented increase in the demand for cane crushing plant and equipment ... This tremendous increase in the demand for cane sugar factory plant and equipment is shaping up at a time when most of the few remaining recognized European, American and Australian manufacturers of sugarcane crushing plant and equipment have closed shop thanks to long years of recession within the world cane sugar industry resulting from depressed sugar prices, high cost of heavy equipment manufacture, and environmental issues confronting the metallurgical foundry sector in the west.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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