The increase has been recorded just one month before the close of the season.
“We have delivered 311,826 tonnes to the EU so far against access of approximately 500,000 tonnes for this year,” said SAC Chairman Karl James in a release on the monthly performance of the sector.
“We are expecting to see improved production by the end of the crop,” he said.
The four SAC countries and their year-to-date performance, in order of output and export volumes, are Guyana, Jamaica, Belize, and Barbados.
Exports at the end of May totalled 379,842, of which 82 per cent was traded with the European Union, 9.5 per cent with the US and 7.5 per cent within CARICOM.
The Belize Sugar Industries, meanwhile, says its output fell more than 11,000 tonnes short for its full crop year, which begins annually in November, but says it is satisfied with what it called a “reasonable” performance.
“I would not use the word successful because while the quality was excellent and the best we have ever had, the quantity of cane was not there to make the crop a bumper crop we would have expected,” said BSI factory manager John Gillett.
The BSI’s data for the year placed its sugar output at 98,214 tonnes and molasses at 28,625 tonnes from the factory milled 843,785 tonnes of sugar cane.
“This has been the very best quality we have ever had at Tower Hill and it’s a pity we did not have the corresponding amount of cane so that we could have produced all the sugar that we wanted to produce.”
Initially, BSI aimed to produce 110,000 tonnes of sugar, but ended up with a shortfall of 11,000 tons due in large part to insufficient cane being delivered by farmers.
(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Jamaica Gleaner publication)