The sugarcane 2016/2017 harvest promises to reach 16.7 million hundredweight, growing by 15% compared to the previous one, which was seriously affected by the drought.
An article on Elmundo.sv outlines the optimism of representatives of the Sugar Association who projected better results for this harvest compared to the last one, although it will not compete with the record results like that of the 2014/2015 harvest.
A change of minister in Costa Rica will aid in increasing the cost of sugar via an import tariff hike, harming consumers and the food industry, and increasing protection for the powerful sugar lobby.
The decision taken by the new chief of the Ministry of Economy reflects a clear interest in meddling in a process that should be resolved at a technical and non-political level.The decision to declare whether or not dumping occured in a particular market and what measures should be taken in response, corresponds to the office of Trade Defense, and should be free from any possible political bias.
The Ministry of Economy has decided to impose a new tax of almost 7% on sugar imported from Brazil, in response to a lawsuit brought by the union of local producers.
With this new protectionist measure the government is trying to put an end to a conflict that arose in 2015 between the Agricultural Cane League (Laica) and the importer Maquila Lama, when this company denounced a proposal to amend the regulation on sugar fortification claiming it attempted to restrict trade of imported grain.
The union of producers has estimated crop production for 2016/17 at 12 million hundredweight, slightly above the results seen in the previous season.
Of the total that the Association of Sugar Producers of Honduras (APAH) estimates will be produced, 70% will go to the local market, and the remaining 30% will be for export, from which it is expected that $100 million will be earned.
In October 2017 production limits and the "out of -quota" production concept will eliminate for the manufacture of biofuel and industrial non-food products.
The current production quota for sugar according to the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which applies to the 28 countries in the bloc, is 13.5 million tons per year.The production capacity of sugar producers in the European bloc is higher than the quota, therefore eliminating production limits will lead to a lowering of prices due to excess supply, similar to what has already happened in the milk market following the elimination of production quotas.
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.
Due to the effects of drought, the sugar guild has projected that it will not reach the production target of 12 million hundredweight scheduled for the 2015-16 harvest.
Added to adverse climate effects which will result in a reduction of at least 700 million hundredweight in the harvest that has just begun, are the unfavorable international prices of grain, which have maintained a downward trend in recent months.
As part of the Agritrade Platform, Guatemala will participate for the 27th time in PMA Fresh Summit, the most important international trade show and convention of fruits and vegetables in the United States, which will take place at Anaheim Convention Center, California from October 17th to 19th.
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