CSL Atlantic berths at the Port of Bundaberg to receive 15,000 tonnes of sugar.
CSL Atlantic berths at the Port of Bundaberg to receive 15,000 tonnes of sugar. Ron Burgin

Sugar the top tip for a great 2010

BOOM times just keep coming for the sugar industry, with a leading strategic business information provider predicting a spectacular 2010 ahead.

In an analysis looking at the future of Australian industries, IBISWorld has tipped sugar manufacturing as the one to watch this year.

The report said in the past five years “the sugar industry has been buffeted by the highs and lows of global demand, supply trends and world prices”.

But it predicts in 2010 the sugar manufacturing industry will be the biggest grower.

The industry is forecast to be worth $3.11 billion, a 15.9% increase over 2009 revenue of $2.68 billion.

In second place, trailing by more than a percentage point, is organic farming, with projected growth of 14.8%.

Isis Central Sugar Mill general manager John Gorringe said the figures were good news for the sugar industry.

“Sugar prices are at a 30-year high at the moment,” he said.

“That will certainly help our profitability.

“High prices mean a lot more returns through the industry.”

Mr Gorringe said, while the volumes of cane were static, high prices were driving the good times.

Queensland Sugar bulk sugar terminals general manager Chris Hair said the high sugar price had not yet resulted in an increase of the volumes they were handling.

He said the only result he had seen so far of the high sugar price was some fresh plantings.

“I would expect some would be planting extra,” he said.

“It’s all good for the local economy.”

Mr Hair said the strong sugar price would put many in the industry in a better position.

“The industry has come through some pretty lean times,” he said.

“This is a good time for people working in the sugar industry to upgrade their equipment.”

Among the industries making up the projected top 10 are oil and gas production, institutional building construction and insulation services.

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