Sunday 29th Mar, 2020

Sugar industry set to slump in 2020

Queensland’s sugar mills have produced more than two million tonnes of raw sugar this season, according to the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC).
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Queensland’s sugar industry is set to face another challenging year in 2020 following significant production declines and low prices in 2019.

Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) data has found a reduction in cropping area and sugar cane yield across all regions in 2019, with recovery unlikely in 2020.

ASMC’s Director of Industry Affairs Jim Crane said the total Queensland sugarcane crop for 2019 was 28.4 million tonnes, down 6.7 per cent from the 30.4 million tonnes achieved in 2018 and some six million tonnes less than the 2016 crop of 34.4 million tonnes.

“The crop area harvested was also down 12,000 hectares across the State’s sugar regions last year,” Crane said.

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ASMC’s data also found that cane yield in terms of tonnes per hectare in 2019 was lower than the average result for the past eight years (2012-2018) across every Queensland sugarcane production region.

“While the lift in the global sugar price and recent widespread rain in most districts has certainly been welcome, in some areas the rain has come too late to deliver any marked improvement in crop tonnages for 2020,” Crane said.

“Given this outlook, it is difficult to see sugar production levels in Queensland recovering in 2020.”