Friday, December 3, 2010



I´m not at all sure who owns the BSI Sugar Factory in Orange Walk Town, Belize? Tate and Lyle I thought were a sugar company making value added products from the raw commodity of sugar and molasses. They sell mostly to the European Union and I thought they were HQ in Ireland. I notice from their home page they are big in the USA as well.
That said, whether Tate & Lyle just have a lock on the commodity SUGAR out of Belize in bulk, or not, seems tied up with some kind of mix with the European Union politics. The EU has been two faced about the sugar crop from Belize and other Caribbean producers have been forced out of business. They keep cutting the sugar prices. I understand the EU make most of their sugar from BEETS and do not really need our sugar crop, so they don´t give much of a heck, if we die on the vine in BELIZE.
Anyway, according to the newspapers I read, the BSI FACTORY ( -who are the shareholders in what quanitites? ) is in debt to various people and banks for around $140 million in total loans, the newspapers hinted the other day. There are two big banks that wish to FORECLOSE on the FACTORY. So what, TATE & LYLE will do when the FACTORY is sold off at a discount is not known. At this writing the BANKS owed money are preventing the Government of Belize from lending another $10 million to the 6000 cane farmers in the North for back payments owed and financial needs for starting the next crop. There is no security for our Government loan.
Interestingly enough, the TAIWANESE have chimed in reputedly with an offer to help the Belize sugar industry. What they mean by that I have no idea? What I do know, is the European Union either do not want, or need our sugar and have been cutting prices on one pretext or another, so that we get way below world prices currently. On the other hand, the mainland CHINA has a shortage of sugar and is looking for bulk commodities, like our small output here in Belize. Taiwan may also need sugar and so the interest. Both the CHINA's can obviously make a market in sugar for their huge markets, which are bigger than the European Union.
So the war is on for our sugar crop, as a bulk commodity. The struggle will be ownership of the BSI sugar mill, the only mill in the country. I am guessing the Chinese will buy the mill if it goes into foreclosure and the cane farmers will have a place to sell their crop. Whether the cane farmers have shares in the Sugar Factory I do not know? I expect that any contracts will become null and void once the Sugar Factor goes into FORECLOSURE, so Tate & Lyle will more or less surrender, or give up their interest in Belize sugar and molasses. From the news blurbs it seems Tate & Lyle have sold their molasses business anyway.
There is a Chinese proverb, that says; may you live in interesting times. Looks like SUGAR as a commodity export crop will continue, but just maybe we will be producing for China now and not for the European Union market. High time too, I think!

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