The 2018/2019 sugarcane crop came to a close this morning. According to Belize Sugar Industry/American Sugar Refineries, BSI/ASR this year’s crop has seen an improvement in the amount of cane supplied to the factory. Love News spoke with BSI’s Cane Farmers Relations Officer, Olivia Avilez said that the amount of cane supplied to the factory for this crop season exceeded expectations.
Olivia Avilez – BSI’s Cane Farmers Relations Officer: “We ended with 1.317615 million tons of cane, really that is record-breaking supply amount. Our last record was 1.314 million tons of cane. It is very important that the quality that comes in the cane is good because that is then translated to the amount of sugar that we can produce or extract out of that cane. Currently, the tons cane to tons sugar is 8.34 so we are still finalizing the sugar numbers because we just ended this morning but we are over 155,000 tons of sugar and again that is another record. Our last record was 144,000 tons of sugar and that was in 2017 so we are about 11,000 tons above that. That is critical because that translates into a positive price as well. We also managed to make better types of sugars, direct consumption sugars and more. These are food grade that sells for a higher price than the regular raw sugar so definitely those are very positive results from this year’s crop.”
Avilez explained that BSI/ASR produces five types of direct consumption sugars; adding that while they had feared effects from the drought experienced in the north, that was not the case.
Olivia Avilez – BSI’s Cane Farmers Relations Officer: “Drought, funny enough this year was a blessing because of the cane quality. The dryer it is the more the sugar cane concentrates sugar so in that scenario of quality it’s a positive. Where it is a negative is the following crop because we have been through a real drought period and the cane that is coming up didn’t get enough water. We are still rain fed, we have very little irrigated fields, there are some trails by both farmers and BSI to irrigate fields so the drought will have an impact on the following crops production, this year it had a positive impact on the quality.”
The majority of the sugar that BSI/ASR produces is sold to the EU market.