More than 100 sugar producers and industry specialists gathered in Ayr at the Burdekin Rugby Union Club on Thursday night for a sugar market forum hosted by Rabobank.
Featuring presentations by the bank's sugar analyst Charles Clack, his Brazilian colleague Andy Duff and regional head of the bank's markets team Adam Vanderstelt, it was an opportunity for sugar producers from across the region to hear the latest insights for the sugar market.
With growers travelling from across the Burdekin, the event incorporated an outlook on the local sugar market as well as first-hand insights into the world's biggest sugar producer, Brazil with Mr Duff delivering a virtual presentation.
With Australian sugar prices reaching above AUD 500/metric tonnes last month, the bank outlined their 2021 sugar price forecast of between AUD 440 to 450/metric tonne. That said, the ongoing dryness in Brazil could not only delay their crush but result in reduced yields - which in turn, could have an impact on sugar prices given the emerging global supply deficit.
With volatility expected to be a theme throughout 2021, the event also included some discussion around some of the sugar price risk management strategies farmers could adopt to help manage this volatility.
The event marked one of the first stops for the bank's RaboTruck after its 12-month hiatus during COVID, as it tours around regional Australia as a means of sharing knowledge and connecting with clients in the communities in which they live. The RaboTruck hosted a similar event for sugar growers in the Mackay region earlier in the week.