Sugar production increased 15 percent in 2016/2017 reaching over 732,536 metric tons (MT) due to the favorable climatic conditions. Average yields went up eight percent reaching more than 71 MT per hectare. Planted area totaled 72,281 hectares – up two percent compared to the previous year. The increase in planted areas was driven mainly by the need of sugar mills to increase biomass production for energy plants. For 2017/2018, the Nicaraguan Committee of Sugar Producers (CNPA) forecasts a two percent increase in planted areas with an estimated production of 750,000 MT.