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BSI prepares for falling sugar prices Print E-mail
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Thursday, 05 April 2018 00:00

The third estimated cane payment has been issued to cane farmers and the numbers are much lower than last year’s, but this is no surprise to BSI representatives whose stakeholders have been bracing for the drop, particularly because of the loss of the EU preferential prices. Each year, cane estimates are issued on a monthly basis during the crop season to present revisions on the sugar market. The first issued estimates reflected a US $355/ per ton on the EU market but now stands at an estimated US $332.50/ per ton, a difference of US $22.50.

Cane Farmers Relations Manager at the Belize Sugar Industry, Olivia Avilez, said that the fall in cane payment was something that was anticipated since October 2017 following the trends of the world market. In January 2017, the highest price of sugar was at 21 cents per pounds and quite recently, in March 2018, that price has nosedived to $12.41 per point, representing a 70% drop. Avilez adds that stakeholders in the industry, anticipating the lowered prices, have been working towards improving efficiencies to boost the industry’s competitiveness on the sugar markets.

BSI continues to meet with representatives of other sugar producing countries in the Caribbean to work towards improving the industry to suit the sugar markets. A report published in Reuters indicate that analysts expect the global sugar market to remain in surplus for at least two seasons, and possibly longer, following a sharp rise in production, particularly in India and Thailand.

Other reports indicate that the International Sugar Organization has also suggested a surplus which would be expected to continue to press down on the world price. Projections on the EU side also suggest that the EU would remain in surplus in 2018 into 2019. That then means that EU prices would likely need to be somewhere above the world market price and below the price at which raw sugar from elsewhere could be imported and refined in order to balance the market.