Tag Archives: Skeldon factory

Guyana produces at US$800 per ton, sells for US$300

Guyana produces at US$800 per ton, sells for US$300

GuySuCo CEO, Dr. Raj Singh

GuySuCo CEO,
Dr. Raj Singh

April 3, 2015 | By KNews |  Low sugar price on the world market

The Guyana sugar industry is facing an even bleaker future with prices sliding to their lowest levels since February 2009. The dismally low prices come at a time when the country failed over the last three years to lock in a multi-year agreement with its biggest customer in Europe – Tate & Lyle – leaving the country at the mercy of the international markets.

This week, the price for a pound of sugar on the world market went down to US$0.12.
This simply means that should the prices on the world market remain on course – and there are not any immediate indications of significant movements upwards in the immediate future – Guyana would be selling sugar in the vicinity of a highly uncompetitive US$265 per ton.   Continue reading

Guyana’s Sugar Industry: GUYSUCO deep in debt – video

GUYSUCO deep in debt – video by Capitol News

No turnaround for sugar industry…GuySuCo produces sugar at double world market price

– owes over US$170M in debts  

– employees’ contributions not paid, benefits in jeopardy

Agriculture Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, and GuySuCo top executives yesterday.

Agriculture Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, and GuySuCo top executives.

JULY 18, 2014 | BY  |  As concerns continue to grow over the viability of the country’s sugar industry, Government yesterday said that it is seriously considering other alternatives, including going the route of producing ethanol.

But Dr Ramsammy’s comments seemed to echo those made by Anthony Vieira, a former sugar producer, in a letter published in the Kaieteur News. (see letter here) Continue reading

Gold prices, sugar slump will lower Guyana’s growth this year – IDB

Gold prices, sugar slump will lower Guyana’s growth this year – IDB

FEBRUARY 5, 2014 | BY  |

A slump in gold prices and poor performance from the sugar sector will see Guyana facing major downside risks to its growth momentum, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has said.
In its Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin issued last month, the bilateral lending agency said that this will lead to a lower growth forecast for 2014 at 4.3 percent. This will be below the 4.8 percent growth recorded last year.   Energy cost also remains a big worry for Guyana.

Rice warehouse

Rice warehouse

Rice helped buoy the economy last year but it may not be enough to sustain it at the same level this year, IDB says..

“Further downside risks may stem from lagging investments in productive infrastructure, especially roads, ports and electricity; as the economy’s competitiveness and capacity to diversify are stymied by high energy costs, limited electrical generation capacity and poor quality of electricity service.” Continue reading

Time for a radical shift in the sugar belt – By Moses Nagamootoo

Time for a radical shift in the sugar belt

JANUARY 26, 2014 |  By Moses Nagamootoo – AFC Vice-Chairman and Member of Parliament

 The shadows of doom seem to be hanging over the sugar industry. Besides continuing mismanagement and political interference, there is the ominous warning from eminent scholar, Dr. Clive Thomas, that the sugar industry has reached a point of no return, “or alternatively, a negative tipping-point”.

For the 16,000 sugar workers and an estimated 50,000 persons whose lives depend of the industry, this raises the spectre of “bitter sugar” that historically was the root cause for oppression and despair of slaves and bonded workers on the colonial plantations in Guyana.   Continue reading

Guyana’s Sugar Industry – GuySuCo in deep financial crisis

GuySuCo in deep financial crisis

 JANUARY 1, 2014 | KNEWS | – owes creditors $10.5B

“No turnaround unless industry fixes agri problems” – GAWU warns

Government, this year, will be scrambling to find solutions for the country’s sugar industry as production fell to an embarrassing 23-year low in 2013.  [President Donald Ramotar is pictured at right]

Production at the eight estates in Berbice and Demerara closed on December 21, the last day of grinding, at a dismal 186,807 tonnes. This was below the 190,000-tonne figure that had been targeted and which had been revised again and again from the original 260,000 tonnes at the beginning of the year. The situation has now left the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) owing banks and suppliers in excess of $10.5B, union officials confirmed yesterday.
Last month, the National Assembly approved a $4B bailout to help pay its 16,000-plus workers and meet other critical expenditure.

However, according to Seepaul Narine, General Secretary of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the largest sugar workers’ union, the $4B will not be enough.

Once the ‘sweet king’, earning the hog’s share of foreign exchange, sugar has slid to third, behind gold and rice.  gold and rice Continue reading

Roads and Infrastructure – Commentary by Tony Vieira

Roads and Infrastructure

Commentary:  By Tony Vieira – Aired 27 November 2011

Over the past 5 years Guysuco embarked on a disastrous project at Skeldon which will cost this nation more than 200 million US dollars. To put this amount in perspective the annual budget of this country is around 800 million US dollars. This means GUYSUCO has spent 25% of what this country’s  total annual budget is on a white elephant which could very well bankrupt the entire industry since important factory  maintenance is not being done at the other GuySuCo factories because money is badly needed to finance this disaster.

I saw the AFC in the Kaiteur News of 28th August identifying the problem, but the young AFC economists, do not appreciate how difficult it is to convert the existing cambered beds in the industry to flat land for mechanical harvesting, made even more difficult in a country with as high a rainfall as oursI it was this very problem which we who have worked in the cane fields of Guyana understand i.e. that to convert the existing acreage of Skeldon, around 12,000 acres, to flatland was a tall and probably not attainable target, and to extend the Skeldon cultivation by another 12,000 acres was going to take at least a decade and was probably not achievable even then. But to expect that farmers would be able to finance the planting for mechanical harvesting of an additional 12,000 acres was impossible. Continue reading