Marcella Scarlett, Business Reporter
Jamaica's cane fields failed to yield the expected level of feedstock, resulting in sugar production that was 14 per cent off target in the crop year just ended.
The six factories, which are now under private ownership, all missed their targets, according to data from the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA).
The industry target was 1.662 million tonnes of cane and 153,608 tonnes of sugar.
Instead, the factories crushed 1.476 million tonnes of cane and produced 131,589 tonnes of sugar.
That outcome underperformed both the target as well as output in 2011 when the industry crushed less cane, 1.436 million tonnes, to produce more sugar, 134,993 tonnes.
The six factories fell 14 per cent short of the expected sugar output and 11 per cent on canes, according to the SIA data.
The McConnell family-controlled Worthy Park Estate continued to make gains in operational effciency with a tonne cane/tonne sugar or TCTS ratio of 8.76.
Frome and Monymusk were the worst performing of the six factories. The two, which are owned by Pan Caribbean Sugar Company, fell short on cane by a combined 106,008 tonnes and produced 60,607 tonnes of sugar instead of the projected 73,685 tonnes.
Pan Caribbean Sugar, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese company COMPLANT, declined comment for this story.
Pan Caribbean, the newest market entrant, is in the process of redeveloping the assets it acquired from the Jamaican Government.
Frome and Monymusk also recorded some of the poorest yields.
Monymusk used 11.29 tonnes of sugar to produce a tonne of cane, while Frome used 12.71 tonnes.
Only the Hussey-controlled Everglades did worse, with a TCTS ratio of 14.16 tonnes.
Trelawny-based Everglades, which began production three months late, crushed only two-thirds of the cane projected and produced just half of its sugar target.
The crop year began in December and closed at the end of July.
The two smallest factories, Golden Grove and Worthy Park, were the most efficient, with better TCTS ratios than projected.
Golden Grove used 11.17 tonnes of cane to produce a tonne of sugar to better the targeted 11.2 ratio, while Worthy Park used 8.76 tonnes of cane as opposed to the projected 9.0 tonnes.
Golden Grove processed 15,424 tonnes of sugar from 173,460 tonnes of cane, while Worthy Park processed 21,680 tonnes of sugar from 189,889 tonnes of cane.
Appleton Estate was closest to its target.
The factory used 323,166 tonnes of cane to make 29,7945 tonnes of sugar - for a TCTS ratio of 10.85. Its target was 31,429 tonnes of sugar from 330,000 tonnes, and a TCTS ratio of 10.5.
Operators of the Golden Grove factory, the Seprod/Fred M. Jones Estate partnership, say the 2012 crop was impacted by weather and other factors.
But buoyed by efficiency gains, Golden Grove has set higher target for cane production for the upcoming season.