Sugar cane crop winding down

By
Updated: July 2, 2015

Arturo Cantun reporting…

“There are roughly five more days to the end of the 2015 sugar cane crop season.  Generally it has been a great season despite a late start due to differences between farmers and the miller. But at roughly 157 days of milling, BSI is boasting the best season in the history of industry breaking record in sugar production and quality of cane.  BSI’s financial director Beliz Carballo told us more.

Belizario Carballo – Financial Director, BSI

“This year we will be milling close to 1.15 million tons of cane and producing close to a 137,000 tons of sugar that will be a record production. Before this the record was 125,000 tons of sugar in any one crop and over a longer period of crop. This crop for 23 weeks having done 137,000 will be a record and it is a combination of good quality cane combined with excellent factory efficiency in terms of extraction and time efficiencies that resulted in this new record. We estimate it will be 8.3:8.35 tons of cane: tons of sugar. The previous record was 8.67 and last year it was more 9.66 so it is a record in terms of tones cane to tons sugar and so in that respect it has been a good crop in terms of the new records that we have said.

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

And while by large it has been the best crop season in 18 years, some farmers are asking for the season to be extended by one week as they will stay with a large quantity of mature cane.

Belizario Carballo – Financial Director, BSI

“We are coming at the end of the crop and there is still cane available for harvest and that is one of the sort of difficult points that we had to discuss as part of agreeing an end of crop date because among other things that need to be considered as factors that are normally considered to determine the end of crop date. Cane availability is one and then previous years that has not been a big factor to consider but this year it is so unfortunately the delay has resulted in this position that we are now approaching the end of the crop and we still have cane left. How much cane will be left over is yet to be determined. Based on the last survey done by SIRDI which estimated 1.29 tons of cane out there we will be going into next week and we estimate that the cane that will be milled will be close to 1.15 which means that there would be close to 140,000 tons of cane that would be left standing. Not all that cane is lost because that cane depending on the level of the age of that cane the cane will still be available for next crop but it would not be harvested this crop so it will not be a complete lost and it will be a cane that will lose some of its quality and it all depends on the age of the cane. There will be some cane that will be leftover that will have no effect if we harvest it in December when the crop starts again but depending on the age of the cane the loss will be determined by that.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

Carballo says the only factor that will prevent this from reoccurring is to ensure the crop season cycle starts on time, that is December and end by mid-June.

Belizario Carballo – Financial Director, BSI

“Well what needs to be clear is that this situation that we find ourselves in this crop is only due to the fact that we started late so if we don’t start late and we start in early December and we got into May if there is more cane. At that point there is always more flexibility in terms of the weather to be able to extend. Currently we are already in July so the flexibility to extend is really limited.  The weather has changed and the other factors that need to be considered are now playing a factor and playing a consideration into determining the end of crop. So what will address this situation going forward is really for the crop to start on time.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

“There are some industry stakeholders that have suggested the factory needs to expand in order for more cane to be harvested during the season.  Carballo says expansion at the factory will only attend to the matter partially and nonetheless the company will be addressing some of it during the off season.

Belizario Carballo – Financial Director, BSI

“But expansions require investments and clearly investments will have to be made on the basis of feasibility, on the basis of whether we have a strategic development plan and the basis of commitment to all the stake holders to that strategic development plan so indeed there is already discussions about possible expansion. The ambition to expand is still there and clearly that is going to be discussed and perhaps formed up in the context of discussions on the strategic development plan.

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

“Until this morning at 6, farmers had delivered a total of 1,108, 864 tons of cane and BSI had produced 134, 730 tons of sugar.  Ton of cane per ton of sugar is at 8.23.  Carballo told us the estimate second payment for farmers is at $66.69 per ton of cane.