Molasses sales by the Fiji Sugar Corporation are anticipated to reach $15 million in the coming year, as markets for this important production expand, particularly from rum manufactures.
The FSC recently loaded its final consignment for 2018/2019 in Lautoka, with 21 tons of molasses from the 2018 production earmarked for the Philippines.
FSC Chief Executive Officer, Graham Clark said of this amount, 9500 tones had been loaded at the Port of Malau in Vanua Levu.
“The interest in our molasses is growing,” he said, noting that molasses has become an important source of revenue.
“It’s growing from an interesting source because it’s from the rum manufacturers around the world. Molasses is becoming more and more difficult to get because a lot it elsewhere is used to make ethanol for fuel. So they come all the way to Fiji to take our molasses, sometimes to the Caribbean, sometimes to the other islands to make high quality rum and they’re prepared to pay a better price. Our consignments this year will earn roughly $15 million for the industry, which is a significant amount and quite important for us.”
Other than rum, Fijian molasses is also used in Asia for food products, flavoring, industrial chemicals and a wide range of usage.
“It is very pleasing to note that our molasses is sought after,” Clark added.
The FSC plans three more consignments of molasses for 2019, for the Caribbean and Asian markets. In the past year, a consignment was also supplied to Tahiti and on the domestic front, to Paradise Beverages.
A total of three consignments of molasses shipped last year, with Fiji being the sole Pacific Island Country exporting molasses.
“We normally make about 75 -80,000 tones but from that we also supply locally to the dairy industry for feed and we also use it to some extent for other livestock producers like piggeries and sheep and goat farmers, who take small amounts,” Clark said.
Countries that have been supplied molasses by the FSC include Tahiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, where strong brands of rum are produced for the global markets.