THE Fiji sugar industry is expected to produce 10 per cent less sugar this year.
The revised projections were made by the Reserve Bank of Fiji after taking into account crop damage caused by the March floods. According to RBF statistics, the amount of cane crushed in 2012 season would also decrease by 14 per cent to 1,802,337 tonnes.
The 10 per cent decrease in sugar production is expected to see 150,002 tonnes of sugar being produced this year.
RBF economist Apenisa Tuicakau said though the amount of cane being crushed was forecast to decrease by 14 per cent, the amount of sugar produced would not be affected as badly.
"This is because we are expecting improvements in milling efficiency to offset the decline in cane being crushed," he said.
"As we become more efficient in the mills, we will be able to offset the decrease in cane being crushed, so though less cane will be crushed the amount of sugar produced will not experience a similar drop."
Mr Tuicakau said Fiji was lucky to sell sugar to the European Union at $1123 (EUR 515) per tonne.
"Basically the Fiji Sugar Corporation sells sugar to the European Union at $0.54 cents ($US0.3066) per pound, well above the market price of $0.40 ($US0.2273) per pound," he said.