Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cuba produces best sugar harvest in 11 years

Cuba produces best sugar harvest in 11 years
Posted May. 30th, 2015 by Reuters

Havana | Reuters – Cuba's sugar harvest grew 18 per cent this year to
1.9 million tonnes, the most for the beleaguered industry in 11 years
and the best performance since the state sugar company Azcuba was
founded in 2011, official media said on Friday.

The Communist Party daily Granma said the harvest, which began in
November, had ended. Last year's harvest produced 1.6 million tonnes.

Company spokesman Liobel Perez attributed the higher tonnage to improved
efficiency at the mills and increased production of cane, Granma reported.

The company had hoped to produce more than two million tonnes but was
impeded by late startups at mills, breakdowns, transportation and other
problems, Perez said.

The Cuban sugar ministry was closed down in 2011 and Azcuba formed after
output declined to 1.1 million tonnes, the lowest in more than a century
and far below the eight million tonnes produced in 1990 before the
collapse of former benefactor the Soviet Union.

"Though the results are still less than hoped for, one has to recognize
that for five years (Azcuba) has increased production," Granma noted.

When Azcuba was formed it said output would be 2.4 million tonnes by 2015.

The latest harvest is the best since 2004, when it totaled 2.5 million

Only eight of 56 mills in the country were built after the 1959
revolution, the last in the 1980s.

Cuba consumes between 600,000 tonnes and 700,000 tonnes of sugar a year
and has an agreement to sell 400,000 tonnes annually to China.

Sugar was long Cuba's most important industry and export but today ranks
eighth in foreign currency earnings behind services, remittances,
tourism, petroleum products, nickel, pharmaceuticals and tobacco products.

— Reporting for Reuters by Marc Frank in Havana.

Source: Cuba produces best sugar harvest in 11 years - AGCanada -
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