Chinese break Jamaica sugar marketing monopoly

(Jamaica Gleaner) Pan Caribbean Sugar Company (PCSC) is to be conferred with ‘agent’ status, effectively ending the monopoly on the marketing of Jamaicans sugar crystals held by Jamaica Cane Product Sales, but sugar regulators say the status quo will remain for the current crop.

Pre-divestment, the sugar sector was configured for all players – both private and publicly owned operations – to pool their production.

At a practical level that meant that each factory sold their produce to the sole Sugar Industry Authority-designated agent, JCPS, which in turn negotiated price and supplied all markets mainly in Europe and the United States.

The Chinese-owned PCSC, however, negotiated with the Jamaican government the right to sell its own sugar when it bought up the biggest factories in 2010.

“Just like how you appoint JCPS an agent, we are going to appoint PCSC as an agent,” said SIA executive chairman, Ambassador Derrick Heaven.

The agreement will be in place for the next crop, he said.

PCSC Chief Executive Officer He Francis told Sunday Business that his company pushed for the marketing concession as part of the divestment deal because it feels it can negotiate better export prices in the European market than Jamaica currently fetches.

The company is a subsidiary of COMPLANT group.

In 2010, sugar export volumes and earnings hit a low point of 92,899 tonnes and US$45.8 million, respectively, according to the most recent Planning Institute data.

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