The third estimate of the crop is established at the end of the fourth meeting of the Crop Estimate Coordinating Committee held last Wednesday. The meeting was chaired by the Chamber of Agriculture.
The Crop Estimate Coordinating Committee includes the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority and the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute, the sugar factories, the Sugar Insurance Fund Board, the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate (MSS), Statistics Mauritius and the Ministry of Agro-industry. The Chamber of Agriculture will ensure regular monitoring of the situation and meet once again the parties in November to review the situation.
Meanwhile, the MSS will import raw sugar to be refined in Mauritius for re-export and the local market. To remind that the maximum annual refining capacity in the country is about 360 000 tonnes and our production of special sugars is 120 000 tonnes per year.
Sugar harvest affected by climate
The production potential of the brown sugar is 480 000 tonnes, while our local availability would be only 415,000 tons this year.
If the first shipment of 25,000 tons of raw sugar has already been delivered to Port Louis in late July, the second cargo of 50 000 tonnes will be towards the end of the year. Imported sugar is therefore a necessary complement to local production and a key element of our industrial and commercial strategies.
In October, more than half of the 2013 season was past. 28 September, 52.8% of the area had already been harvested, some 2,197,888 tons of cane milled and 230 309 tonnes of sugar produced.
According to the information available to date, the sugar harvest is expected to be completed during the last week of December. The water deficit that prevailed on the island since April, had shown signs of attenuation for the month of August, during which a rainfall close to the long-term average was recorded.
However, this deficit increased for the month of September during which we recorded only 48% of the average rainfall in the long term, maintaining a stress on the growth of the cane. And the average productivity in the fields registered for September is 75.9 tons of cane per hectare, or 2.7% lower than that recorded last year in the same period, but the same as that recorded the month last. It should be noted that the situation is particularly difficult in areas of the North and center of the island, where the productivity of each sector is below the national average.
In addition, weather conditions in terms of sunlight and temperature amplitude remain favorable to the maturation of the cane. And sucrose accumulation at the end of September was higher than the 2012 level in all parts of the island. This is reflected in an improvement in the rate of extraction of the whole island, 10.48% against 10.32% for the last month.