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By Kiana WilburgIn 1993, the bauxite industry stood proudly as one of the major sectors that accounted for more than 30.4 percent of Guyana’s GDP and 57.7 percent of our country’s export earnings. But in recent times, this “King of a sector” hasIt is indeed an uphill struggle to relive the glory days in the bauxite industry.been struggling to return to its glory days.Was its kryptonite the depressed markets? Was it poor management that has it stuck in recovery mode? Or is it a combination of that and more?The budgets presented over the last nine years, tell an interesting story about the mixed performance and a promised comeback of this sector.In 2008, former Finance Minister Dr. Ashini Singh said that after a few dips in production, the bauxite sector experienced a robust recovery. He said that this was reflected in private investments made in the Linden and Berbice River areas.In that time, he predicted that the industry would continue to expand with production increases projected for both Linden and Berbice. He said that the companies operating in the sector were expected to expand production and exports significantly.As for the hardcore statistics on the performance of the sector at the time, Dr. Singh reported that total bauxite production in 2007 increased by 51.6 percent to 2,242,928 tonnes, reflecting strong returns to the increased private investment in the sector.He said that receipts from bauxite exports amounted to US$101.5 million, 55.0 percent above the value for the corresponding period in 2006. Export volume rose to 2,198,771 tonnes at the end of 2007 from 1,465,358 tonnes for the corresponding period in 2006.By the first half of 2008, bauxite had achieved an outstanding growth of 22.8 percent,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, reflecting the conducive world market conditions during that period. In fact, bauxite exports increased by 29.2 percent to US$131.1 million.But the traditional pillar of the Guyanese economy faced a dramatic reversal of fortune towards the end of 2008. And the unkind external conditions were expected to linger for some time.Faced with continued depressed market prices, the bauxite sector was expected to record a contraction in output of 7.1 percent to 1,943,624 tonnes. This period of bad luck followed the sector in 2009 and 2010. It resulted in the closure of resorts and refineries, job losses, and pressure on exchange rates.Singh also reported on the operations of two major bauxite companies in Guyana.The Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI), an entity now co-owned by Russian Aluminium (RUSAL),Wholesale Football Jerseys, was able to preserve a significant share of its bauxite production. The former Finance Minister had said that in 2010, all of BCGI’s metallurgical bauxite was being shipped to RUSAL’s plant in the Ukraine, which was one of the few plants that remained at almost full capacity.Dr. Singh said that financial losses were however, exacerbated by unhelpful industrial relations developments. In contrast, Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) Inc, lost markets, due to global factors, but industrial relations conditions enabled them to minimise loss of employment.In spite of the circumstances facing the sector, Singh remained optimistic about future improvements. But his hopefulness was not enough to save the sector from another poor performance in 2011.In fact, the bauxite industry ended 2011 with a total production of 1,082,512 tonnes, representing a 9.8 percent contraction in value added. Domestically,China Jerseys, while BOSAI experienced improved sales as a result of increased prices for their product on the market, BCGI faced challenging mining conditions which led to reduced production. The latter at that time, invested in additional equipment that was expected to improve the production performance. Nevertheless, the year was one which saw an expansion in production for both companies.BCGI’s production of 1.3 million tonnes represented a 61 percent increase over 2010, largely driven by improving production equipment and mining practices. Bosai saw an expansion in refractory bauxite production by 10 percent in volume to over 203,000 tonnes in 2011.Additionally, in 2011, the metallurgical bauxite market in the Atlantic region faced a declining price for alumina in the face of excess capacity and supply.The former regime by 2012, had already invested in excess of US$200M in the bauxite industry since privatisation. Yet, efforts remained unabated to truly facilitate the emergence of a growing and more competitive bauxite industry. And compounding the issue was the fact that the global market for bauxite continued to show mixed signs.Over the next four years, a new wave of expansion was predicted. This included the start of a third bauxite company, First Bauxite Inc. The company was projected to start construction of its refractory operations in Bonasika in the latter part of 2012, with an investment in excess of US$120 million.In 2013, bauxite exports increased by 13.1 percent to US$150.8 million, with volumes increasing by 22.8 percent to offset a 7.8 percent decline in export prices.But the fortunes of the two major bauxite companies continued to be mixed. Bosai’s operations was supported by strong calcined bauxite prices of over US$400 per tonne, while BCGI’s operations were challenged by costs that exceeded prevailing market prices.In the meantime, First Bauxite Incorporated, had pushed back the commencement of its US$120 million calcined operation into late 2013.By 2014, the industry suffered a blow recording an 11 percent decline in value added production. In addition, bauxite exports contracted to US$134.6 million, due to a 24.7 percent decline in export volume to 1,678,971 tonnes, outweighing the 18.6 percent increase in export prices to US$80 per tonne.When the coalition administration took over, bauxite export earnings continued to contract. According to the Ministry of Finance, export earnings from bauxite contracted by 7.4 percent to US$124.7 million, due to a 5.7 percent decline in export volume to 1,583,343 tonnes, coupled with a 1.8 percent decrease in the export prices, to US$78.80 per tonne.It was noted by the Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, that bauxite continued to experience unfavourable global markets, resulting in both bauxite companies in the industry producing below capacity.However, encouragingly, Canadian-owned First Bauxite is going ahead with opening a new mine in the Bonasika area, having recently completed the feasibility study for mining bauxite in that area.Furthermore, Jordan said that the early projection for growth in bauxite was a 10.3 percent recovery,Adidas Hockey Jerseys Cheap, in 2015, after two consecutive years of decline in 2013 and 2014. He said that the strengthening of world market demand and prices were the key premises informing this projection. Output was targeted at 1,754 thousand tonnes, up from the 1,564 thousand tonnes, in 2014.However, output at the half-year of 2015 was 747,542 tonnes which was actually 14.8 percent below the first half production in 2014.As a consequence, Jordan said that total output was scaled back to a more realistic 1,635 thousand tonnes, predominated by the lower value grades of bauxite. This represented a negative growth for 2015 of 5.7 percent. As such, the bauxite sector underperformed in 2015,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, largely due to low commodity prices.Jordan had cautioned that during 2016, the sector would continue to face challenges,Wholesale Jerseys From China, as commodity prices are expected to remain low. As the bauxite industry continues to struggle with reorganization and soft prices on the world market, Jordan said that production is expected to be maintained just at the 2015 level of 1,526,467 metric tonnes.According to the 2016 half-year report, the bauxite industry performed creditably, with production increasing by 2.9 percent or 760,689 tonnes, compared with 746,824 tonnes achieved during the same period in 2015.The average price for bauxite exported from Guyana was US$61.7 per metric tonne over the first half of 2016, down from US$76.8 per metric tonne in the first half of 2015.As a result, although the quantity of bauxite exported increased, the total value of bauxite exports was lower in the first half of 2016 than for the same period in 2015. In fact, bauxite exports fell from US$53.3 million to US$46.3 million, a decrease of about 13.1 percent.While depressed markets pose their usual challenge, fingers remain crossed for the industry’s comeback. It is indeed an uphill struggle to relive the glory days.
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