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Sugar future sweeter after rain

Bundaberg and Isis Canegrowers members are welcoming the rain and a boost to sugar prices.

With the recent rain and higher global prices, sugarcane growers in the Bundaberg region are looking forward to a sweeter future.

Last week Bundaberg Canegrowers Director Dean Cayley said the rain had been very welcome.

“This rainfall has put moisture in the ground and hopefully will fill the dams and recharge into the underground,” he said.

Mark Mammino, Isis Canegrowers Chair and member of the Qld Canegrowers Economics & Trade Committee

Chair of Canegrowers Isis, Mark Mammino agreed, but said there were some areas of Wallaville and Gin Gin that had only had 20mm.

“The majority of growers have had reasonable rain,” Mark said.

“We’d love some follow up rain in the next couple of weeks so we can minimise the reliance on irrigation to finish the crop.”

Coupled with the good rain experienced around the region, the sugar industry's future is looking sweeter with the world price for sugar improving.

The February report for Canegrowers showed that prompt raw sugar prices are now around $485 per tonne and higher than the long-term average, increasing strongly since January.

Forward prices for 2020 have increased to over A$475 per tonne and are around the highest levels for the past two years.

The market has continued to stay above both 30-day and 200-day averages, buoyed by the ongoing speculator buying.

Warren Males, Canegrowers’ Head-Economics said it was good to see the improvement in prices.

“News of an unexpectedly sharp downturn in Thai production and a bigger global deficit have helped boost prices,” said Warren.

“It’s great to see some growers take advantage of the price lift and price some sugar at A$485 per tonne.”

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