Sudan’s ongoing war has resulted in local gum Arabic farmers, who provide a crucial ingredient for various industries, including fizzy drinks, facing a need for more buyers.
However, a trade group assures that global stocks of Arabic gum are currently sufficient to meet demands. Gum Arabic, obtained from resin tapped from acacia trees, is used as an emulsifying agent in products such as soft drinks, chewing gum, and pharmaceuticals.
As the largest raw material producer, Sudan heavily relies on the Arabic gum industry for foreign currency. Despite enduring conflicts, climate change, and sanctions in the past, the current war has devastated producers.
Fuel shortages and soaring prices have further affected other farming sectors as well. With the Arabic gum industry playing a crucial role in Sudan’s economy and supporting millions of Sudanese, the consequences of the war are particularly significant.
The fighting between two generals has claimed lives, displaced millions, and worsened an already fragile economy. While the conflict mainly occurs in Khartoum and Darfur, it has also affected El Obeid and the Gedaref area.
Transport companies are reluctant to risk their trucks, leading to a collapse in gum Arabic prices and a struggle to find buyers. The risk associated with transporting goods through the war zone of Khartoum adds to the challenges. While the ports operate normally, gum Arabic exports from Darfur and Kordofan have significantly declined due to the war.
The Association for International Promotion of Gums, based in Hamburg, assures industry users that there are no supply threats as member companies maintain sufficient stocks from Sudan and other countries. Chad and Nigeria are mentioned as alternative producers that can mitigate immediate supply bottlenecks. However, the duration of global stocks’ sustainability remains uncertain, according to industry insiders.