Skeldons sale can hurt rum industry
In the Sunday Sun of August 19, 2018, there was an advertisement seemingly placed by the government of Guyana for the sale of a sugar estate in that country named Skeldon.
The ad stated that the government was divesting itself of the sugar industry per se, and that Skeldon was one of four similar estates that would be privatised.
The ad also detailed the composition of Skeldon – for example, its size was 11 900 hectares of cultivated land; the plant was a fully automated sugar factory with cogeneration capability, and so on.
The stated objective of privatising the sugar industry in Guyana should be of some concern to the producers of rum in Barbados, as it is my understanding that as much of 90 per cent of the molasses used to produce rum here comes from Guyana.
In due course Guyanese molasses will become more and more exposed to real market forces with regard to both availability and price, both of which may negatively impact our rum industry in the long term. Caveat emptor.