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Hopes for sweet sugar season, despite drags on industry


The costs of fertiliser, fuel and chemicals is putting a crunch on Mackay cane growers, but they're remaining optimistic.

The crushing season kicks off this month, with most mills now operating right across the state.

Queensland Canegrowers chairman Owen Menkens says there are a lot of drags on the industry at the moment.

"Mackay has been wet ... but hopefully they can dry out now to get a good run," he says.

"They had a lot of mill performance issues last year so they're hoping that they can get them sorted."

Queensland Canegrowers reports the sugar price is pretty good at the moment and an estimated 30 million tonnes of sugarcane is expected this year, but high costs will take away most of the gains.

"Fertiliser prices have basically gone up over 150 per cent since last year," he says.

"Fuel prices, every one knows diesel is over $2 a litre, chemical prices have gone up and even obtaining chemicals is difficult."

"Overall we're positive for the year ahead, we just need to get some dry weather and a good milling performance and we should be right."