Thursday 17th Oct, 2019

Drought and floods hits Queensland’s raw sugar production

Queensland’s sugar mills have produced more than two million tonnes of raw sugar this season, according to the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC).
Photo: Shutterstock

Queensland’s sugar mills have produced more than two million tonnes of raw sugar this season, according to the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC).

The state’s 21 mills have been operating 24/7 to crush this year’s cane crop to manufacture the raw sugar, which the majority of which will be exported to sugar refineries in Asia, such as South Korea, Indonesia and Japan.

Around half of the season’s sugar cane crush is now completes after around 14 weeks, with the ASMC forecasting the total production for the season to be close to four million tonnes.

In 2018, Queensland produced around 4.3 million tonnes of raw sugar.

ASMC Director of Industry Affairs, Jim Crane, said the drop in production was likely due to the very dry crushing season.

Related stories:

“The weather was very mixed at the start of the year: too wet for some and very dry for others,” he said.

“The prolonged dry conditions since June have been very good for harvesting, but the lack of rain has contributed to the state’s initial crop estimate falling by close to 800,000 tonnes or 3 per cent according to our latest crush statistics.

“2019 looks set to see sugar production levels fall to their lowest levels for seven or eight years and we expect some mills to finish their crush as early as late October if the dry weather persists.”