December 01, 2008
Manuela Ayuso reporting from Orange Walk
“This past weekend, people across the country began to realize that there might have been a shortage in white sugar. The Belize Sugar Industries say they have been rationing sugar to local buyers for several weeks, but that the effects are only just beginning to be felt.
BSI’s Financial Director Belizario Carballo says the rationing is as a result of the worse cane supply and cane quality ever. BSI produced 78,000 tons of sugar this year with a little over 10,000 tons allocated to the local market. The local demand for white sugar in the country is 12,000 tons, resulting in a need to ration the supply to genuine buyers.
Carballo says there are also issues with contraband with Belize sugar being exported illegally to Mexico and Guatemala.
It is expected that the limited supply of sugar will be rectified by early next week as the next cane crop is scheduled to begin on December 3rd. The expectation for the upcoming cane crop is for the industry to rebound with normal cane supply of 1.2 million tons.
All indications even after the floods are for a good cane season especially since the cool weather is providing the conditions for cane ripening.”