CUBA: Sugar production seen down 30%

Published: 04/17/2018, 7:46:35 AM

This year's Cuban sugar harvest will be one of the lowest in more than a century at 1.1 million to 1.3 million tonnes of raw sugar, a drop of 30%, Reuters estimated based on sources and state-run media.

Cuba produced 1.8 million tonnes of raw sugar in the last harvest.

The milling season runs from late November through April when the weather is normally dry and temperatures cool and the cane plants yield the most sugar. Yields and output fall significantly after that as hot and humid summer weather sets in.

Most mills did not open this season until around the New Year in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Then unseasonable rainfall shut most of the mills down for over a month.

Many mills are now expected to remain open into May, and even June, if the weather permits.

Azcuba, the state sugar monopoly, planned to produce 1.6 million tonnes this season after drought and the hurricane damaged the crop, but then the wet weather further dampened expectations.

"Azcuba said the sector would not rest until it meets the plan, which has suffered a readjustment of 20% (320,000 tonnes)," state-run Radio Rebelde reported last week.