June 5, 2012 / 1:53 PM / 7 years ago

Mauritius 2012 sugar output seen down 6 pct

A worker harvests sugarcane at a plantation in Mauritius in a file photo. REUTERS/Tim Cocks

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Sugar output from Mauritius is expected to fall 5.8 percent to 410,000 tonnes this year from 435,309 tonnes in 2011 due to lower rainfall, the Chamber of Agriculture said on Tuesday.

Sugar, a centuries-old pillar of the island’s $10 billion-a-year economy, accounts for roughly 1.2 percent of gross domestic product.

“Growth of the sugar cane plant has been affected by a sharp drop in rainfall at the start of the year in the northern and western parts of the island,” the chamber said in a statement.

The Indian Ocean island switched to exporting processed sugar instead of the raw commodity when the European Union cut its guaranteed price for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar in 2009.

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