Canegrowers Queensland chairman Paul Schembri. Picture: Contributed
Canegrowers Queensland chairman Paul Schembri. Picture: Contributed

SWEET: Australia jumps to second spot for raw sugar exports

Queensland's sugarcane growers are counting down to the start of 2021 harvest, buoyed by the news that Australia has jumped to second place in the list of raw sugar exporting nations, even with weather reducing the expected crop.

"Recently, Australia has overtaken Thailand as the world's second largest exporter of raw sugar," Canegrowers Chairman Paul Schembri said.

"I think many people in our communities and government, and even cane growers, would be surprised to know we are such an important player in this market, sitting second only to Brazil."

When sugar mills fire up in Australia in June, Canegrowers is anticipating growers will harvest around 29.5 million tonnes of sugarcane, 28 million tonnes of that in Queensland.

That crop will make around 4 million tonnes of raw sugar of which 85 per cent will be exported, earning $1.7 billion.

Experiencing drought in some key growing regions, Thai sugar exports are expected to only be around 2.6 million tonnes in 2021 - four million tonnes less than 2019.

"We have definitely had our own challenges going into the 2021 season," Mr Schembri said.

"While there has been periodic heavy rain, La Nina didn't deliver the soaking wet season across the regions that we were looking for and the cane crop for 2021 is around 1.5 million tonnes less than the 2020 season.

"Rain gauges tell us that the Burdekin, central, and southern regions, which normally contribute around 60 per cent of Queensland's total cane tonnage, have had below average rainfall so far this year.

"Bundaberg, Childers and Maryborough remain effectively in drought with irrigation water storages now critically low."

While Australia is the world's second largest exporter of raw sugar, it is not in the running for the top spot as Brazil exported a huge 27.5 million tonnes of raw sugar last season.

More stories

BSL addresses questions about future of Bingera Mill site

END OF AN ERA: Sugar mill to close as BSL 'streamlines'

GREAT DEAL: $1 for the best local news, great rewards



Up for grabs: Five iconic Bundy region businesses

Premium Content Up for grabs: Five iconic Bundy region businesses

A number of well-known Bundaberg businesses are up for sale

FULL LIST: Bundaberg Magistrates Court appearances today

Premium Content FULL LIST: Bundaberg Magistrates Court appearances today

Here is a list of matters listed at Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Thursday.

TOOLS DOWN: Local Men’s Shed to shut up shop

Premium Content TOOLS DOWN: Local Men’s Shed to shut up shop

With the lease on their current shed coming to an end in just days, the group is...