Cuba, short on sugar for domestic consumption after a disastrous harvest, hopes to avoid importing by drawing on its reserves and plans to begin the coming harvest early, industry officials told Reuters.
The Caribbean island, where sugar once was synonymous with its name, produced 1.9 million tonnes of raw sugar last year and exported 1.1 million tonnes, according to the International Sugar Organization. But a prolonged drought, Hurricane Irma in September and out-of-season rainfall devastated this year’s crop.
The harvest usually begins with a few mills operating in late November, and about 50 are crunching cane by January as dry and cool weather set in. Most mills close by May.