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Concerning sugarcane production trends revealed

17 Feb 2020 – The Queensland sugar industry is facing another challenging year in 2020 after suffering significant production declines and low prices during 2019.

Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) data has revealed a worrying reduction in both cropping area and sugarcane 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% from the 30.4 million tonnes achieved in 2018 and some six million tonnes less than the 2016 crop of 34.4 million tonnes (-17.4%).

“The crop area harvested was also down 12,000 hectares across the State’s sugar regions last year,” Mr Crane said. (350,082ha in 2019 compared to 362,414ha in 2018*).

The figures also showed that the 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.”

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

*

Queensland

2018

2019 % change

Sugarcane crop (tonnes)

30.48 million 28.44 million

-6.7

Sugarcane crop (hectares) 362,414 350,082

-3.7

 

Cane yield (tonnes/hectare)

Average yield last eight years

t/ha

Yield 2019

t/ha

Northern region

85

75

Herbert-Burdekin

100

96

Central

76

73

Southern QLD

78

69

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