12 Aug 2009

Fiji missing out on benefits of increase in global raw sugar price

10:46 am on 12 August 2009

Fiji's decline in sugar production is stopping it from taking advantage of a rise in the global price of raw sugar.

The price has jumped more than 80 percent in the past six months to its highest level since 1981, as supply concerns grow due to greater demand in Brazil and a sharp fall in production in India.

The former Chairman of the now dissolved, Fiji Sugar Marketing Corporation, John May says Fiji's sugar production levels have dropped so much it doesn't have enough to export to countries outside the Pacific Region.

"It's at one of the lows, it's declined to a level where we are finding it difficult to meet the demands especially from the world market. We used to sell quite a lot of sugar to free market countries."

John May says Fiji's interim government is pushing to reverse the decline, by assisting sugar cane growers in building the industry through replanting.