Biman: FSC may not meet target

NFP leader Prof Biman Prasad. Picture: RAMA

The National Federation Party (NFP) claims the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) may not be able to meet its 2020 cane crushing targets because it has failed to maintain efficiency from the start of crush in June through to August.

The FSC announced this week that its tonnes cane to tonne sugar ratio (TCTS) was 11.8 to date. This meant it took almost 12 tonnes of cane to produce one tonne of sugar.

In a recent update, the FSC said sugar production of 46,189 tonnes to date was 5 per cent above the equivalent period in 2019 of 44,015 tonnes. FSC said sugar recoveries were “improving”, with TCTS improving to 11.8 to date.

However, NFP leader Prof Biman Prasad said a TCTS of 11.8 would result in lower sugar production. “In 2019, the three mills produced 168,702 tonnes of sugar at a TCTS of 10.7,” he said.

“In 2020, even if the current TCTS of 11.8 is maintained, which is highly unlikely, sugar production is expected to be 155.932 tonnes.”

He claimed the poor performance was because of FSC’s failure to maintain efficiency in mills.

“Lower sugar extraction due to inefficiencies on the part of FSC means losses for canegrowers because it would mean lower annual returns from sale of sugar to the export markets.”

Prof Prasad claimed the TCTS ratio could increase to beyond 12 as the season progressed, especially with the wet season setting in. “This is yet another painful reminder of the state of decay of the technically insolvent FSC.”

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