The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) is looking to supply the local and regional market with white sugar.
The state-owned entity wants to produce over 50,000 tonnes of white sugar by the end of 2021 or early 2022, it said in a statement.
This will be done at the Albion Estate and the factory will be reconfigured with the flexibility to produce both brown and white sugar, the company said.
The local market consumption for white sugar is approximately 20,000 tonnes and the Corporation intends to meet that requirement.
GuySuCo on Wednesday met with officers from the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the discussions centered on GuySuCo’s Strategic Plan 2019 -2021 and beyond; value-added products such as, white sugar, co-generation and cultural heritage (sugar) tourism and strengthening the working relationship with the Foreign Trade Department.
The Foreign Service Officers were informed that, annually, GuySuCo supplies the local market with 25,000 tonnes of brown sugar, the regional market with about 30,000 tonnes, the United States of America with 12,000 -14,000 tonnes, under the Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQ) and the remainder is sold mostly on the European Market at World Market prices which fluctuates between US$260 – $300.
“With the production of white sugar, GuySuCo will be able to meet the demand on the local market and part of the regional market,” the entity said.
GuySuCo has accelerated its engagements with the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) and the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC), commencing a Joint-Work Programme to engage critical stakeholders on both brown and white sugars, as well as related trade matters in the Caribbean region.
An essential aspect of this collaboration is the protection of the local and regional sugar market and advancement and creation of additional market opportunities.
The application of the Common External Tariff (CET) was also a key aspect of the discussion, the sugar company said.
Currently, there is a 40% CET that is applied by CARICOM Member States for non-regional brown sugar. However, GuySuCo, BSIL and other sugar producing countries in the region, have proposed for the 40% CET to be applied to all sugars entering the region, inclusive of white and brown sugars.
GuySuCo said another sore point has been the strength of enforcement of the CET by the relevant authorities, such as Customs Departments, by ensuring that proper classification for sugars entering Guyana and the region is done.
The Foreign Trade Department representatives provided invaluable advice and information on the Ministry’s efforts in areas of ‘dumping,’ the current process of revision of the CET, widening partnerships and the Corporation aligning its products with trade agreements, GuySuCo said.
Assistance will also be provided to the company to identify solutions for bottlenecks in the marketing of sugar with other Caribbean countries.
GuySuCo plans to engage representatives from the Guyana Revenue Authority, Customs Department. Other meetings will be held with the Caricom Secretariat, Bureau of Standards, Private Sector Commission, Guyana Manufacturing Association, as well as manufacturers such as, Banks DIH Limited, Demerara Distilleries Limited (DDL) and Fernandes in Suriname.