Belize Sugar Industries
Sugarcane is cultivated in the northern districts of Orange Walk and Corozal by over 5, 300 cane farmers on approximately 23, 100 to 26, 300 hectares of land. Both the Orange Walk and Corozal Cane Farmers Association supply the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI), the sole processor of sugar in Belize, with sugarcane.
Recently, the Sugarcane industry has begun making preparations to deal with potential challenges that may arise in 2017 as a result of the loss of the guarantee market agreement with the European Union.
Source: Channel 7 News
Taking into account the late start of Sugarcane production attributed to heavy rate, the industry deliveries for the 2013/2014 harvest rose by 10.8% to 1, 194, 932 long tons. The growth in Sugarcane reflected a notable improvement in the factory's average daily grinding rate from 5, 989 long tons in the previous crop year to 7, 198 long tons.
The average price received for sugar edged up marginally, the average price per long ton of sugarcane paid to farmers fell by 9.0% to $67.52 as a result of a higher cane/sugar ratio and reduced cane purity. However, the significant growth in sugarcane deliveries was largely offset by a decline in cane purity that resulted in 8.2% deterioration in the cane/sugar ratio, as excessive rains during the latter part of the growing cycle reduced the sucrose content of the 2013/2014 crop to 11.8%, as compared to 12.8% in the previous crop year.
Important to note is that sugar exports benefitted from a predisposed Euro/ US dollar exchange rate, a quality premium received on European sales and, to a lesser degree, a resumption of regional sales after a six-year hiatus. The majority of sales were to the European market with the US market being bypassed for the second consecutive year. A portion of the sugar production totaling 2, 955 was sold in the regional market and Canada, respectively. While the volume exported was up by just 2.2%, revenues vaulted upward by 10.8% to $118.8mn, as the depreciation of the US dollar relative to the Euro resulted in an 8.4% increase in the average unit price.