The drought caused a decline of 18% in the 2015/16 harvest, and exporters project a reduction of $40 million in foreign sales.
Sugar producers are backing a plan to improve productivity per hectare in the next harvest in order to try to recover some of what was lost in the 2015/16 harvest.In the current harvest the climate phenomenon reduced total production to 2010 levels, falling from 790 thousand tons in the period 2014/15 to 650 thousand tons in 2015/16.
At the request of the Agricultural Cane League the government has extended until the end of November the investigation into alleged dumping against the sugar importer La Maquila Lama.
The as yet unresolved conflict could once again make its presence felt with the import of organic sugar on the part of the Agricultural Cane League and also the importer La Maquila Lama, who filed with the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM) a complaint of alleged monopolistic practices.See: "Sugar War in Costa Rica".
Increased acreage did not offset the effects of drought which caused a 11% drop in production in 2015/16.
In the 2015/16 season productivity fell by 16% compared to the previous harvest, going from 1,524 hundredweight per hectare in the previous harvest to 1,273 hundredweight per hectare in the current one.
Aside from these results, the Nicaraguan sugar industry estimates that the results of the next harvest will be better because of the projected increase in rainfall over the coming months.
From 2006 to 2015 sales to Taiwan have grown at an annual rate of 14%, with sugar and coffee at the head followed by paper, cardboard, tobacco, shrimp, lobster, fruit, copper, and other products.
Although in the ten years of the FTA between Guatemala and Taiwanexports to China have not stopped growing, they have always been highly concentrated in commodities such as coffee and sugar, meaning that there is an opportunity to diversify taking into account the consumer tastes and characteristics of the Taiwanese market.
Producers anticipate better results this year than in 2015, with a projected cultivation of 108,000 hectares of apples in the Pacific.
The arrival of the rainy season and weather expectations for this year have allowed sugar cane growers to anticipate better results than in the past two and a half years, when a decline in production was recorded of between "... 15% and 20%". For this year they hope to increase volume and to sell at better prices in the international market.
It has been announced that sugar cane producers will receive 53.5% of the income received by the mills from the sale of sugar and molasses.
The low price of sugar on the international market, coupled with drought in the region has led to cane growers pressuring the industry to receive part of the income received from power generated using the bagasse they provide.
The private sector proposes to negotiate with the government of Taiwan an increase in the export quotas for products such as peanuts and sugar.
Exporting companies will be proposing to the government of Daniel Ortega that the visit by the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou be used to request an increase in export quotas for agricultural products. In 2014 total exports to the Asian island amounted to $65.8 million.
Guatemala is considering suing the South American country through the WTO after banning the duty-free entry of 21 000 metric tons of sugar, despite the existence of a partial scope agreement since 2012.
An Ecuadorian fizzy drinks producer failed to receive the product due to a blockade by authorities of the country, even though there is a partial agreement which guarantees the duty free transaction.
Preparations are being made for the first export in the next few weeks of 50,000 tons of sugar, after the Asian country gave El Salvador approval for an import quota in December.
This shipment to China represents more than 10% of the production of exportable sugar in the country, as currently 60% of domestic production is exported and 40% is for local consumption, which has not changed its demand in recent years .
With a yield of 12.2 tons per hectare, the industry produced 2.8 million metric tons in the 2013/2014 harvest, generating $1.13 billion for the production of sugar, alcohol and molasses.
During the 2013/2014 harvest a total of 1.9 million metric tons (MT) of sugar was exported, of which 162,000 were sent to Ghana and Tunisia and 45,000 to China. Guatemala currently ranks third in sugar yield, competing with Colombia and Swaziland, which are in first place with 14.6 and 13.9 tons per hectare, respectively.
Exports of meat, dairy products, sugar, baking and confectionery products generated revenues of $591 million, $36 million less than what was exported in 2013.
The food sector accounted for 11% of total exports recorded during 2014, however, it showed a downward trend. In 2014 the export volume decreased by 2%, i.e. 13 million kilograms less than in 2013 were exported.