HAVANA.- The AZCUBA Sugar Group announced on Monday in Havana that the 2017-2018 harvest has concluded ahead of time due to the intense drought during the last two years, too much rain since last September with Hurricane Irma and the recent precipitations.

The Vice President of AZCUBA, Jose Carlos Santos Ferrer, offered details on the issue during the Agro-Food Commission of the National Assembly of the People’s Power underway at Havana’s Convention Center.

He explained that the first case was the impact of the drought generating a low level of growth of the sugar cane and second, Hurricane Irma affecting over 50 percent of the area.

To make things worse, 198 millimeters above average of rain fell from September to January, he said.  He explained that such aspects generated delays in the start, continued stops, effects in industrial yields and the energetic balance of the mills due to the bad quality of the raw material inflicting in the deterioration of the plan’s indicators.

However, rain continued from the end of April, which paralyzed the harvest after adjustments to the estimates in these conditions influencing in not complying with the general objectives.

Regarding the situation of the main indicators, he pointed out that the industrial yield reached 98 percent, the estimate behavior of the sugar cane at 104 percent and the delivery of electricity from the Electro-energetic System at 84 percent, among others.

The President of AZCUBA, Orlando Celso Garcia Ramirez affirmed that although there are uncertainties due to the presence of climate conditions for the 2018-2019 campaign, their preparations will advance depending on the reparations of the sugar mills, machinery and the available resources.