More than 1.175 million metric tons of sugar cane has milled and about one hundred twenty thousand metric tons of sugar was produced at the close of the 2021-2021 sugar crop. Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) held a virtual press conference to share its post-crop assessment. According to Vice President of International Relations, Mac McLachlan (mac-lah-klan), the uncertain weather conditions continued to pose significant setbacks.
Mac McLachlan, VP International Relations, BSI/ASR: “It was more or less what we expected perhaps a little bit more than we were expecting remembering that last year was a very poor crop affected by the previous year’s drought. So the cane bounced back quite well. It’s been a difficult crop mainly because of the weather. We had a lot of interruptions at the beginning of crop which really meant that we lost fifteen days earlier on in the crop. In other words it puts a little more pressure towards the end of the crop and that tends to bring us into the kind of more rainy season which can be difficult for both farmers and for the mill but you know big shout of thanks to the farmers for bringing in all that cane and the consistency of bringing it in and a huge shout out to our mill employees here who have managed this crop even though we’ve had some pretty adverse weather throughout parts of it which have been difficult. So we don’t have the exact amount of sugar that we will be producing yet but because we’re still liquidating the factor but roughly half of it is direct consumption sugar that will be bagged and sold and shipped out in containers and the other half is raw sugar that will go out as bulk sugar that will go out for refining in the UK and the EU.”
The company’s Director of Finance, Shawn Chavarria was optimistic that the next crop would be even more successful than the one just ended.
Shawn Chavarria, Director of Finance, BSI/ASR: “We certainly saw a much better crop this year compared to last year following the sever drought experience seeing a 30% rebound in cane supply similarly expecting a solid rebound for sugar production of which roughly 50% will be in the form of direct consumption sugar. So we have a lot of positives this crop you know could have been better but were hampered by the weather at the early start. We had roughly fourteen days of rain delays given the rains received in December which delayed the start but we were able to with the cooperation of farmers their hard work and our employees we were able to get in majority of the cane in this year. Now the work starts to get the factory ready for next year as Mac said we’re putting in significant investment, around $13 million this season to not only repair the mill but also to put in some maintenance capex so that we’re ready for next crop.”
Once grinding completes, the mill will undergo extensive repairs having suffered the impact of low quality cane in recent weeks due to the weather and late crop end.