Sweet outlook for North’s sugar season

Wilmar Sugar's forecast for 2018 crush.


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Crushing will commence at Wilmar Sugar's Pioneer Mill at the Burdekin on June 12.

Crushing will commence at Wilmar Sugar's Pioneer Mill at the Burdekin on June 12.

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Wilmar will start crushing at its North Queensland mills from June 12.

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WILMAR Sugar is forecasting an increased crop estimate across its four milling regions this season due to a recovery in the Proserpine and Sarina regions, which were last year impacted by Cyclone Debbie.

Wilmar today announced a pre-season crop estimate of 16.22 million tonnes across the Burdekin, Herbert, Proserpine and Sarina milling regions.

The estimate is slightly above last years total of  15.76 million tonnes.

In line with this, Wilmar announced a season start date of June 12 for its Burdekin, Herbert and Sarina mills.

Wilmar’s Proserpine Mill will start crushing a week later on June 19.

General Manager Cane Supply and Grower Relations Paul Giordani said the start dates were based on a pre-season crop estimate of 16.22 million tonnes across Wilmar’s four milling regions.

“This is a slight increase on last year’s total of 15.76 million tonnes, due to good recovery in cyclone-affected crops in the Proserpine and Sarina regions,” Mr Giordani said.

“It can also be attributed to exceptional plant crops and good early cut crops in the Burdekin region.”

Mr Giordani said estimates for the Herbert region were down on last year’s bumper crop due to flooding in the region.

“Wilmar’s Herbert mills crushed more than 5 million tonnes in 2017 for only the fourth time in history,” he said.

“This year’s crop was shaping up to be a similar size until the region was impacted by flooding in March.”

It is estimated that the Burdekin mills would crush 8.46 million tonnes this year, up from 8.121 million tonnes in the 2017 season.

The Herbert has a reduced estimate of 4.77 million tonnes down on its bumper 5.033 million tonnes crushed last year.

Proserpine is expected to generate 1.76 million tonnes, up from the 1.434 million tonnes crushed last year following Cyclone Debbie.

And at Plane Creek, Sarina, 1.23 million tonnes is expected to go through the mill, up from ​1.171 million tonnes in 2017.

Mr Giordani said Wilmar had consulted with grower representative groups last week about crop estimates, start dates and projected finish dates.

Wilmar Sugar will also run a series of mill tours and information sessions from next week to show cane growers some of the capital and maintenance work being completed ahead of the 2018 crush.

The first grower tours will be held in Ingham, the Burdekin and Proserpine on Tuesday, May 8.

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