Mexican sugar production has fallen slightly since last year, according to figures released by the major cane workers' union.
The country produced 4,380,248 tons of sugar in the first 26 weeks of the 2002/03 harvest, 2.1 per cent below the output in the same period a year earlier, according to Mexico's National Cane Workers Union.
The 2002/03 harvest cycle began on 1 November 2002 and the bulk of the harvest is collected by July each year.
However, sugar production for the week ending 3 May was 179,063 tons, up about 7.9 per cent from the 166,010 tons produced in the same period last year.
This is the second year of production since the Mexican government took control of almost half of the nations' production facilities.
In September 2001, the state expropriated 27 sugar mills across the country after they became unable to pay debts to cane growers, workers, banks and the Government.
According to the union, Mexico's 2002/03 sugar production will total 4.92 million tons, about even with the last harvest, which totalled 4.87 million tons.
For further information, visit the National Cane Workers Union's website