Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Sugar crop season extended

Published:Tuesday | June 6, 2017 | 6:31 AMMark Titus

In a bid to fill the shortfall caused by the premature closure of the Frome Sugar Estate and lost time due to the recent heavy rains, local sugar producers have taken a decision to extend the 2016-17 sugar production year by two months.

Annually, the season runs from December to May.

General Manager of Jamaica Cane Product Sales, Major Hugh Baker, says the season will now come to a close at the end of July.

Major Hugh Baker says the initial projection for sugar output has been revised downward.

The projection has been cut to 91,000 tonnes of sugar at the end of the season, down from 100,000 tonnes.

Major Jarrett says the issue of illicit cane fires at the Frome factory influenced the decision to revised the projection.

The perennial problem of illicit cane fires resulted in the Chinese-owned Pan Caribbean Sugar Company shutting down operation at Frome in March.

This after producing 20,451 tonnes of the sweetener from 247, 078 tonnes of cane.    

Up to Friday, the remaining factories had churned out a combined total of 71, 816 tonnes of sugar from 864,522 tonnes of cane.

Despite the shortfall, Major Baker says there is sufficient sugar available to satisfy the domestic market and to meet obligations to international clients.