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Sweetener maker Tate & Lyle to raise prices as Ukraine crisis pushes up costs

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·1-min read
The factory of Tate & Lyle Sugars is seen in London
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(Reuters) - British food ingredients maker Tate & Lyle Plc said on Friday it would lift prices of its products in its main markets to tackle cost pressures arising from the Ukraine conflict that has disrupted global commodity supplies.

The London-listed firm, one of the world's biggest producers of sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, said the crisis was causing a "significant escalation" in raw material, energy and logistics costs, especially in Europe - one of its largest markets.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, speculators have aggressively bought wheat and corn futures, pushing up local prices of supplies vital to the food market.

Russia, a major production hub for commodities including oil, metals and grains, is the world's top wheat exporter, while Ukraine is a major global supplier of both wheat and corn.

Soaring crude prices following sanctions on Russian oil and gas imports have further pressured energy expenses.

Tate & Lyle, which also makes low-sugar, low-calorie ingredients for drinks, soups, sauces and baked goods, said it had agreements in place for most of the first half of this year for key raw materials such as corn and maintained its 2022 profit forecast.

The company in early February had stated that renewed customer contracts for 2022 would offset any inflation woes.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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