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Apr 5, 2018

Rain a Setback for Sugar Crop

Olivia Avilez

In the letter to farmers, ASR/B.S.I. makes a conservative estimate that one point two-eight million tons of cane will be milled and they will realize one hundred and thirty-three thousand, seven hundred and fifty tons of sugar and thirty-eight thousand tons in molasses. At the start of crop, the millers projected one point three million tons to be milled and the industry is coming off a record year in 2016-2017. So what’s the problem? Olivia Avilez pointed to the weather, which in the north and especially in March was rainy and not conducive to harvest. That is going to cause some setbacks for both the caneros and the producer.

 

Olivia Avilez, Cane Farmers Relations Manager, ASR/B.S.I.

“Usually we have to be a little bit conservative in terms of our cane estimates, because we have to ensure that the numbers are right at the end. But yes, the estimate is a bit lower than we anticipate. And definitely one of the key areas that we are working very hard on is ensuring that we can produce direct consumption sugars more than last year.”

 

Aaron Humes

“In terms of the estimate and the differences between last year and this year, I know the weather has been a factor: we’re told that March it rained especially hard, and that has created some difficulties for the factory?”

 

Olivia Avilez

“Yes, the crop is progressing as we go along, we in the industry, both farmers and millers, are doing everything we can to deal with the weather; weather has been, yes, a very important factor. In march this year we had far more rain that in the last five to six years, which presents some problems both for farmers, when they are harvesting their cane and the costs associated with that. But also when that cane comes in to the mill, we have to ensure that we take out as much mud as we can from that cane. And that happens usually two or three days after the rain has dried up. And we have to mill a little bit slower during that period, so that we are able to maximize the sugar from that cane. We just don’t mill that cane with that mud – clarifiers have to be available to produce and slow down, really, so that all that mud can come out.”

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