Workers harvest sugar cane. Workers harvest sugar cane.

High prices mean sugar’s future sweet

Annual production closing in on 7 million tonnes

The Mexican sugar industry expects 2017 to be a good year as prices remain at historical highs and the upcoming harvest is expected to be close to 7 million tonnes.

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Sugar production represents 3% of Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product and employs over 2 million people in 16 states, both directly and indirectly.

“Everything leads us to expect these historical prices will continue, and we must make the most of them . . . by renewing the sugar cane fields and making them even more productive,” said the leader of the Sugar Industry Workers’ Union.

Adrián Sánchez told the newspaper El Universal that producers expect to obtain 6.4 million tonnes of sugar by the end of this year’s harvest, bringing the industry closer than ever to its goal of surpassing 7 million tones.

The union leader said the industry is committed to boost productivity, efficiency and timeliness.

A considerable percentage — 2 million tonnes — of the season’s production is expected to be exported to the United States.

It is a number that varies widely, explained Sánchez, “from 500,000 to 1.2 million tonnes.”

Sugar was not the only thing on Sánchez’ mind. He issued an open call to end speculation about how bad a Donald Trump presidency would be for Mexico, urging all sectors of the economy to work together instead to confront any negative outcome.

Sánchez believes that if the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is to be renegotiated, a clear mechanism should be set in place to determine how much sugar is to be exported.

Otherwise, the import of American fructose will continue to negatively affect the domestic market.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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