Cuba opens first sugar mill of season
Thu Dec 3, 2009 3:34pm EST
* First of 44 mills opens
* Raw sugar output forecast at 1.3 million tonnes
* Greater efficiency seen compensating for less cane
HAVANA, Dec 3 (Reuters) – The first of 44 Cuban sugar mills scheduled to
grind during the 2009-2010 harvest opened on Thursday, official media
reported, with final output by May forecast at 1.3 million to 1.4
million tonnes of raw sugar.
"The Mario Munez mill began production today … to reach full capacity
and stability by Saturday, the date the harvest will officially begin,"
the mid-day radio newscast said.
Seven mills are scheduled to open this month and the remainder in
January and February, with the harvest scheduled to end by May.
Cuba has yet to release results from the last harvest, which Reuters
estimated at around 1.33 million tonnes based on provincial reports and
There are 10 fewer mills working this season due mainly to a lack of
cane, according to provincial media and source reports.
The state owns all the mills.
Officials have said improved harvesting and milling will nevertheless
result in similar tonnage.
Traders told Reuters that the official estimate for this year's harvest
wwas 1.3 million tonnes, of which 400,000 tonnes goes to China under a
toll agreement and another 700,000 tonnes are consumed locally.
The current crop has suffered from a lack of inputs or late delivery of
what there was as Cuba grappled with a financial crisis that forced
steep cuts in imports and disrupted deliveries this year.
Cuba opens first sugar mill of season | Reuters (4 December 2009)