Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2023. 4:46 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) is raising the price of long ton of domestic blackstrap molasses by $60 from $295 to $355. That’s an increase of 20.33%.
Inside sources in the sugar industry tell Breaking Belize News that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was unaware of the hike that takes effect on April 11.
“Customers are advised that as a result of increase in world market prices, with effect from Tuesday, 11th April 2023, the selling price for domestic blackstrap molasses is $355 per long ton,” the Belize Sugar Industries Limited said in a notice to Domestic Buyers of Blackstrap Molasses.
A long ton is 2,204 pounds.
But molasses are not price controlled and BSI can jack up the price arbitrarily. The source said that hopefully the increase will translate into a benefit for sugar cane farmers.
Projections see BSI making an additional $500,000 income with the hike.
Belize produces between 35,000 to 40,000 long tons of molasses. 10,000 of that amount is consumed locally for rum production, as an additive for livestock feed, and in the production of efficient microorganisms.
Livestock farmers buy molasses and transport it 55-gallon drums equivalent to 0.2478 tons.
Additionally, BSI, the source said, is presently selling molasses at $450 per metric ton to shrimp farms, which have Designated Processing Area status, sort of an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status. That makes sales to the shrimp industry equivalent to exports.
Though retail sales are small, molasses sell at approximately $5.00 per gallon. That is expected to increase as well.
Some small farmers use molasses as an energy source for beehives and as bait for the capturing the coconut weevil.
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