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Cuban Sugar Production Hits Record Low, Is Expected To Be Difficult To Export To China

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Havana, February 23, according to Cuban state media, the Cuban sugar industry is once again having its worst season on record, and the 2022 Cuban sugar harvest will be much lower, according to official data and data from two local sugar experts. At last year's historic low, it is now at least 30% below the government's target of 900,000 tonnes of sugar, which could dent economic growth.

In 2021, Cuba will produce 800,000 tons of sugar, the worst since 1908 and only 10% of the peak of 8 million tons in 1989. The sugar industry was once the pride of Cuba, vital to its rum production and boosting the country's foreign exchange and vast rural employment.

Due to tough new US sanctions and the impact of the pandemic, the Cuban government is unable to provide more funding for the sugar industry’s needs, including inputs, irrigation and spare parts. "The government will have to import and possibly cut sugar quotas for monthly food rations, and bakeries will have to scramble to produce sweets".

The Cuban economy fell by more than 11% in 2020, although after growing by 2% in 2021, the government had expected a small increase in sugar production to meet this year's 4% growth target and revive the once iconic industry, Vice President Salvador Valle said. Salvador Valdes Mesa travelled across the country in February urging sugar mill workers, farmers and cane growers to produce more.

The Cuban sugar season usually starts in November each year and lasts until May of the following year, but due to a lack of necessary supplies and a reduction in sugar cane production, most sugar mills have been delayed until December and early January this year. Cuban sugar industry experts say that the growth of the cane sugar industry cannot recover this year, and the most likely scenario is a further contraction, because the problem is structural and long-standing, currently the main sugar-producing provinces, including Clara, Las Tunas And Cienfuegos, are far behind the target, it is reported that the output of all 35 Cuban sugar mills are currently behind the target.


Cuba plans to use 500,000 tons of sugar for domestic consumption this year, and plans to export 400,000 tons to China, which is a long-term export agreement with China.

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