Libya has increased its purchases of white sugar to replenish supplies used up during last year's war and to stem unrest in the North African country, according to a report from Reuters.
Consumption between 2008 and 2010 was estimated at 280,000 to 290,000 tonnes a year, according to the International Sugar Organization (ISO), but imports dropped to 123,000 tonnes last year during the revolution, from 296,000 tonnes in 2010.
The country has no refining capacity of its own because its population is too small to justify investment in a refinery.
"Effectively, a lot has been used this year and last year and not much was left," a Middle East-based trader said. "This year, Libya did not import as much as they used to and they need to build up their strategic stocks."
Port loading data in Brazil showed nearly 30,000 tonnes of white sugar had been shipped in recent weeks with a further cargo of nearly 30,000 tonnes of raw sugar also bound for Libya.
A cargo of 26,000 tonnes of while sugar was due to be dispatched from Brazil in coming days.
Libya has identified new routes to source its sugar more cheaply this year, displacing traditional imports from the European Union, traders and analysts said. One dealer talked of a cargo of Indian refined sugar bound for Libya this month.