MECAS(14)16 - Australia’s Sugar Industry Outlook - English

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Publisher: International Sugar Organisation
Format: digital download (PDF), 11.7” × 16.5”
Pages: 55
Publication date: December 2014
Languages: English*

*Also available in French, Russian and Spanish.

Australia is one of the globe’s largest sugar producers and most important exporters in its role as a key supplier to East Asia. The country is also recognized as one of the more efficient sugar producers even though its competitive position has been eroded over recent years. The industry is going through a period of rejuvenation and change brought about by higher world market prices in 2011 and 2012 and an influx of foreign capital. This is revolutionising the way some mills want to market export sugar – creating tensions with growers and potentially putting more of Australia’s sugar exports in the hands of the international trade. Area expansion is still relatively slow and output has been hit by several years of bad weather. With production currently down on potential and milling capacity underutilised the objective in this study is to assess Australia’s sugar outlook for the remainder of this decade. This will be done by examining key drivers including: the potential for cane area expansion; prospects for cane yields/quality; milling sector developments; and sugar consumption prospects – with a view to understanding the likelihood of export volumes growing to match rising demand throughout East Asia. Australia’s sugar industry outlook beyond 2020 is considered in the context of the likelihood of greenfield investment possibilities in new frontier regions in Northern Australia. The final objective is to consider the likelihood that the Australian sugar industry could move from a traditional sugar only industry to a value–adding industry by diversifying into further cane bagasse cogeneration and into fuel ethanol production.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Australian Sugar Industry

Sugar Milling: Foreign Ownership
Sugar Production
(i) Domestic
(ii) Export
Free Trade Agreements
Export Marketing Arrangements
(i) QSL Raw Sugar Supply Agreements and Sugarcane Pricing
(ii) Grower Economic Interest and Miller
Economic Interest Sugar
(iii) Changes in Export Marketing Arrangements
(iv) Sugar Industry Impasse
Production Costs
(i) Electricity Prices
(ii) Water Prices
(iii) Labour Availability and Costs
(iv) Harvesting and Transport Costs

Part 2: Sugar Industry Outlook

(1) Production
(i) Cane Area
(ii) Cane Yields and Quality
(iii) Improving Field and Milling Productivity
(iv) Outlook
(2) Consumption
(3) Trade
(4) Longer–Term Production Outlook: Greenfield Projects
(i) Ord River Scheme
(ii) Pentland Project
(iii) Etheridge Integrated Agriculture Project
(5) Diversification and Value Adding
(i) Fuel Ethanol
(ii) Bagasse Cogeneration


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