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Queensland raw sugar production reaches 2 million tonnes milestone

17 September 2019 | Queensland’s 21 sugar mills have manufactured over 2 million tonnes of raw sugar to date this season according to the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC).

With more than 50% of this season’s sugarcane already harvested, the mills have been operating 24/7 to crush this year’s cane crop and produce raw sugar.

The majority of Queensland’s raw sugar production is exported to sugar refineries in a variety of destinations in Asia including Australia’s major trading partners in South Korea, Indonesia and Japan.

“At the mid-point of what has been a very dry crushing season, mills in Queensland look likely to produce somewhere around 4 million tonnes of raw sugar,” said Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) Director, Industry Affairs, Jim Crane.

“The weather was very mixed at the start of the year: too wet for some and very dry for others.

‘The prolonged dry conditions since June have been very good for harvesting, but the lack of rain has contributed to the State’s initial crop estimate falling by close to 800,000 tonnes or 3 percent according to our latest crush statistics,” said Mr Crane.

“2019 looks set to see sugar production levels fall to their lowest levels for seven or eight years and we expect some mills to finish their crush as early as late October if the dry weather persists,” Mr Crane added.

  • Sugarcane is crushed to produce raw sugar, predominantly for export to sugar refineries in the Asian market
  • Key markets for Queensland raw sugar include South Korea, Indonesia and Japan
  • Last year Queensland produced 4.3 million tonnes (mt) of raw sugar with the forecast for 2019 likely to be closer to 4 mt
  • 51% of the sugarcane crush is now complete after 14 weeks (of forecast 29.2 mt)