Growth for 2018 will be strained as 2017 gold, sugar outputs plummet

Finance Minister Winston Jordan

…Country’s growth rate to be revised downwards- Minister Jordan 

The fall in gold declarations for the year 2017 and the sector’s overall lethargic performance will see country’s growth rate revised downwards.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan said that Guyana recorded some 653,754 ounces of gold in 2017, which indicates that gold declarations fell short of the projected of 720,000 ounces.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan

According to the Finance Minister, “it will have an impact on the growth with both sugar and gold not coming in on target. It means we will have to revise last year’s growth rate even further and it will put some strain on the growth for 2018.”

Sugar output in Guyana fell by nearly a quarter from last year, with close to 140,000 metric tonnes being produced in 2017, which is the lowest in 27 years. The decline happened at a time when the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has fired over 4500 of its workers as it prepares to permanently close three of its six estates.

Failing to meet the revised growth projection of 3.1 per cent for 2017, Jordan said the economy was expected to grow by 2.9 per cent.

The initial projected growth of the economy was 3.8 per cent, but this was revised by midyear to 3.1 per cent after the economy only grew by 2.2 per cent in July of 2017.

Jordan said he is confident that the country’s gold production would climb again, highlighting that there were several impediments that led to a fall in gold declaration.

“…we have budgeted over $1.5 billion, part of which is for clear access both to forest and mining areas. Prices are still good. So it’s not a case they don’t have a natural incentive to produce more as such. So, first of all we believe it’s going to be better this year. We are hoping it’s just an aberration because with prices where they are, you ought to be seeing far more declaration that we are seeing right now,” he added.

The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has blamed poor roads and inclement weather for the fall in gold declaration.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.