CSL Cargo Supervisor Barry Dine watches part of a 15,000 tonne sugar cargo being loaded into the vessel CSL Atlantic at the Port of Bundaberg. Photo: RON BURGIN sug2110a
CSL Cargo Supervisor Barry Dine watches part of a 15,000 tonne sugar cargo being loaded into the vessel CSL Atlantic at the Port of Bundaberg. Photo: RON BURGIN sug2110a

Sugar high set to hit hip pockets

SWEET tooths will experience aches at the checkout with the price of sugar set to rise by up to 25% in coming months.

The rise follows a 30-year high in raw sugar prices which have been forced up by global demand for the product.

Bundaberg Sugar sales and marketing manager Guy Basile said he could not reveal the exact price rise at this stage.

“An official increase will be announced soon and it is expected to come into effect around March 1,” he said.

Mr Basile said the increase was expected to be in line with the price increase cane growers were experiencing.

The price of raw sugar has been about US20.5 to 28 cents per pound since August 2009 compared to a 2007/2008 price between US9 to 15 cents per pound. A stronger Australian dollar has helped offset the prices passed on to the consumer.

Bundaberg growers are receiving more than $500 per tonne.

Cane grower Alwyn Heidke said it was unusual for prices to reach their peak and stay high for so long.

“It is good but we really need that type of dollars all the time to make money out of sugar,” Mr Heidke said.

Canegrowers Bundaberg president Allan Dingle said it was hard to predict how long the raw sugar price would remain high.

“I believe there is still a shortfall in the world so I expect that will stay up for quite some time,” he said.

Demand for sugar has increased after a below-forecasted harvest in Brazil and unfavourable growing conditions in India coupled with a strong demand for sugar products.

Mr Dingle said the high sugar prices would have a positive impact on the local economy.

“Growers will be using a percentage of their money to reduce their debt and also to replace their machinery which has passed its used by date,” he said.

Sugar giant CSR announced an increase in prices on Monday, which would come into effect from February 1.



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