A press release from ARS-BSI earlier today states that the company wrote all three cane farmers Associations yesterday, explaining the rationale behind the first cane price estimate for the 2015/16 crop. The Associations had written BSI requesting a review of their published first cane price estimate of $35.33 per ton with a view to increasing that payment. In BSI’s response, stated that its price is realistic and cannot be adjusted to improve the cane price. Farmers had noted a European Commission report citing a higher price than that in BSI’s estimate. BSI has responded that those price reflected sugar which had arrived in Europe during 2015, including from Belize, but which had been contracted in advance when prices were higher. The letter also responded to a request to provide a better estimate for cane quality. Cane quality is affected by a number of factors, and this year, a lot of stand-over cane will be harvested this upcoming crop. In addition, a combination of weather and old cane will, more than likely reduce the cane quality. BSI noted that the latest estimated cane price was based on fair assumptions, but emphasized that any improvement during the crop would be fully accounted for and paid to farmers in the second and third payments for the 2016 crop. First payment to farmers, however, is a whopping 85% of the total payment. Last year, BSI paid around $43.00 but says that the 37.00 it now proposes is in the range of prices paid in the last ten years.