Sugar Price continue to fall on the global market and there is not telling whether the trend will continue in the months ahead. Last year prices stood around 21 cents US per pound. In 2016, prices were in the range of 22 to 24 cents US per pound. Presently, the price has dipped to 11 cents per pound on the global market. Olivia Avilez, Cane Farmer Relations at BSI spoke on the impacts this has on Belize’s sugar industry and what measures are being taken.
Olivia Avilez, Cane Farmers Relations Officer: “It affects the entire industry really because the factory gets 35% of those revenues after net shift values and the farmer gets 65% out of those revenues. It affects the country in terms of foreign exchange and GDP so it affects the entire chain when we have those faults. What we have to do is be able to foresee and forecast and prepare for them, we have been preparing for this moments since it was announced back in 2013 October 2013, 3 years, 4 years and so we have been trying to get strategies put together. One of our main strategy at the factory is to change from raw sugars to production of direct consumption sugars that fetch higher prices in the EU Market and in other possible markets and it opens other ones like CARICOM and so on so that is the main strategy for us moving away from production of raw to DC it will require and it is requiring investment from ASR a $22 million dollar investment this year that we hope we’re able to launch part of it this year so that we can see some of those benefits. DC Sugars sell for 42% more than raw sugar so that is the main thing look for these value added sugars.”