November 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Gum Arabic Council (GAC) Saturday said it would adopt new policies allowing direct exportation of the commodity to the United States.
- Sudanese workers collect pieces of gum arabic at a factory in Khartoum (Photo AFP)
Last month, the U.S. Administration permanently lifted 20-year-old economic sanctions against Sudan allowing resumption of trade, investment and banking transactions with the East African nation.
The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) quoted the secretary-general of the GAC Abdel-Magid Abdel-Gader as saying the U.S. has expressed a desire to import the gum Arabic directly from Sudan to avoid delays in shipping and money transfers.
He expected Sudan’s gum Arabic production to exceed 200,000 tonnes early next year, saying the new policies include direct contracts with the producers and exporters besides the expansion of global markets.
Abdel-Gader pointed out that they recently agreed with the United Nations to establish the African Gum Arabic Council headquarters in Khartoum, expecting demand for the commodity would significantly increase during the coming period.
Last June, Abdel-Gader said revenues from exports of the gum Arabic in the first half of this year amounted to $45 million.
However, the head of Sudan’s parliamentary subcommittee on industry and commerce Abdalla Ali Masar last September said exports of gum Arabic have significantly declined from 100,000 to 12,000 tonnes during the past years.
Gum Arabic is a resin that is used as an emulsifier in sodas, a thickener in candies, a binder in some inks and drugs, and as even a foam stabilizer in beer.
Sudan is the world’s largest single producer of gum Arabic. It produces at least 80 percent of the world’s gum Arabic supply.
According to government data, more than 45,000 tonnes of gum Arabic are smuggled to neighbouring countries annually.
Consumers of the product include the United States, which imports about one-fourth of the Sudanese output.