Sugar yield high, prices low - KLFY News 10

Sugar yield high, prices low


This year's sugarcane harvest and grinding season is nearly half over.

An industry analyst says they're expecting a yield of about $1.6 million tons of raw sugar, which is about 100,000 tons shy of last year's state record.

Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugarcane League, says rainy weather throughout the summer and fall has made for a high sugarcane yield, but there's some bad news. There is a low demand year, thus far.

"Unfortunately, we are seeing an excess of imports from Mexico, they are dumping into the U.S. market. It's oversupplying our market, and that's causing prices to drop for us. So, while we're looking at good year from a harvest perspective, sugar prices are just going to make it a little difficult for us financially," says Simon.  

As of Monday the market value for a pound of raw sugar is 20 cents to 22 cents, which Simon says is below breakeven costs.

"We'd like to see it in the mid-twenties. In the mid-twenties, we are somewhat comfortable from a financial perspective. At least we can breakeven and pay bills and do those kinds of things," says Simon.

Ricky Gounsolin, owner of Gounsolin Farms in New Iberia, says sugar isn't the only commodity that has seen a price decrease this year.

"Our input costs seem to be down with diesel costs holding down," says Gonsoulin.

Gounsolin says, as of this month, he is breaking even and says if prices stay low and the dry weather continues, he will avoid any deficit.

"If it turns wet, it seems to wear and tear on your equipment and it costs more to harvest that crop," says Gonsoulin.

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