Despite lower furfural sales, combined revenue from downstream products contributed R146.7 million to the operating profit.
Even when the sales are down, downstream profits increased year-on-year by 24% as a result of the higher production levels and improved furfural prices. Collectively, all value added by-products (incl. ethanol and lactulose) contributed R146.7 million to the operating profit.
Pricing for furfural products has remained positive in 2011/12 and we derived increased returns in this market, enhanced by a reputation for the reliable supply of high quality products.
2011/12 saw a 21% increase in production (2011: 15,900 t furfural and 9,000 t furfuryl alcohol) and about half of the 19,220 t of furfural was converted to 10,960 t of furfuryl alcohol.
The following are furfural by-products: Furfuryl alcohol, diacetyl, 2.3-pentanedione, Crop Guard® (nematicide), MultiGuard Protect® (nematicide and fungicide) and BioMass Sugar® (organic fertiliser, phytofortifier or soil improver).