NSW sugar industry crush continues despite flooding

NSW sugar industry crush continues despite flooding

The New South Wales sugar industry is set to continue its annual milling season despite still recovering from devastating autumn floods that damaged crops and mills.

Sunshine Sugar’s three plants in New South Wales will start their crushing season this winter, with the Harwood and Condong plants turning on June 15 and 20 respectively and the Broadwater plant starting operations in early August. Production dates depend on the weather in the Northern Rivers region of the state.

The exact amount of sugar cane that will be processed is still unknown, but due to the floods it is expected to be less than 1.5 million tonnes. While growers still face wet conditions, the price of cane for the season is expected to be between $40 and $45 per ton, depending on the crops’ commercial cane sugar levels. This price is quite high and will help struggling cane growers.

“The increase in the price of cane will be welcome as our growers not only recover their lost and damaged crops, but do so at a time when the costs of inputs such as fertilizer and fuel are rising,” said Jim Sneesby, president of Sunshine Sugar and producer. himself.

The start of the crush comes as stocks of raw sugar supplying Sunshine Sugar’s Harwood refinery are nearly depleted, alongside a strong sales program to get customer orders filled across Australia.

Sunshine Sugar CEO Chris Connors said that although the state’s sugar industry faces challenges, it will remain strong.

“There are still many challenges ahead for our growers and mills as we continue to recover from the catastrophic March, April and May floods in our region; but the floodplains of these three great rivers have been the cornerstone of sugar production in New South Wales for over 150 years. We will emerge from setbacks and continue to build on an already resilient and important local industry.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the ongoing work to repair and restore our mills and refinery. Without the commitment of our employees and the support of our contractors, we would not be able to announce the start of the new crushing season with the level of confidence that we have.

Rachel J. Bradford