High sugar content saving grace

Sugar season progress report for North Queensland

The sugar season is drawing to a close in North Queensland. Photo: Jessica Johnston.

The sugar season is drawing to a close in North Queensland. Photo: Jessica Johnston.


It was a mixed season for Sarina region cane growers as the crush draws to a close.


THE high sugar content has been a saving grace for Sarina growers, with the Plane Creek Mill crushing out below pre-season estimates.

It was the second of Wilmar’s eight mills to finish the 2018 season after crushing out early last Friday.

The total throughput for the season was 1.143 million tonnes of cane, which was about 90,000 tonnes below pre-season estimates due to the unusually dry season.

Mackay Regional Operations Manager Craig Muddle said the season CCS was 14.70 units, which is above the five-year average.

“The silver lining is the high sugar content,” Mr Muddle said.

“Average CCS tracked above budget for much of the season because of the cool, dry conditions. We ended up with a season average slightly above expectations.”

Mr Muddle said widespread rain earlier in the week had made the last two days of the season challenging.

“The field sector had a few issues getting the last paddocks harvested, but the rain and the early finish to the season will be very beneficial for next year’s crop,” he said.

Wilmar’s Proserpine Mill  was the first to finish the season on Sunday 21 October.

The first of Wilmar’s four Burdekin mills, Kalamia Mill, is expected to finish on Thursday.

The two Herbert mills are expected to finish at the end of November.

Further North, MSF is expecting their season to run until late November or early December.

As of November 1, the South Johnstone Mill had crushed 1,272,046 tonnes with a season to date CCS of 13.59. That is 86.2 per cent of their estimated crop of 1,475,000.

The Tableland Mill had crushed 573,385 tonnes, 79.6 per cent of their pre-season estimate of 720,000, with a season to date CCS of 14.38.

Mullgrave Mill had crushed 81.7 per cent of their forecast 1,208 million tonnes, having crushed 987,552 tonnes with a season to date CCS of 14.16.


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