JIS News

General Manager of Jamaica Cane Products Sales Limited, Karl James, has said there are still good prospects for Jamaica’s sugar cane industry, despite the many challenges.
Mr. James, who was in London last week to meet with a number of entities relating to the sector, including the International Sugar Organisation, pointed out that sugar prices on the European market are now better than was projected, and this was good news for Jamaica.
He told JIS News that if Jamaica could produce 280,000 tonnes of sugar, this would meet the domestic requirement and fulfill international demands.
“The idea is to get where we are supplying the domestic market fully. We supply the United States market with 11,000 metric tonnes, and as much as is economically feasible, we supply the European Union, and you will find that before too long, if we can produce value added sugar, we will have access to over 130,000 tonnes to the European market. So there are good opportunities,” Mr. James said.
He also cited the possibility of producing renewable energy, using the bagasse for the energy needs of the industry, as well as providing ethanol.
Mr. James said that the new regime that provides access for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to the European Union, would be reviewed in 2012.
“We want to make sure that we are on top of what is going on. So, the idea is to keep in touch with the new members of the European Union, so that they understand the importance of access,” he added.
According to Mr. James, the current deficit for sugar on the world market means that world market prices will continue to be high. In addition, the reports from the European Market are that the prices for sugar are higher than the authorities had expected.
“So, while the cut on the protocol price took us down to 334.2 Euros per tonne, the indications are that with the arrangements we are making with buyers, we could be earning as much as 393 Euros per tonne, which is a significant difference and this is good for Jamaica,” he said.
Mr. James said an upside of ending the EU sugar protocol, was that while previously the country could only export raw sugar for refining, the new arrangements meant that Jamaica now had access and could supply any kind of sugar to the European market.

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