AUSTRALIA: Crush continues after weather delays
Published: 07/31/2012, 8:26:53 AM
Australia's rain-delayed annual sugar cane crush has resumed but the harvest may still fall short of expectations, according to Dow Jones.
Almost 4.0 million metric tonnes of cane were crushed up to July 24, barely half the 7.5 million tonnes of cane crushed a year earlier, said Jim Crane, senior executive office at the Australian Sugar Milling Council.
Growers estimate this year's crush will reach 31.5 million tonnes.
All mills but one are now crushing and some are having to deal with some "fairly challenging harvest conditions" in boggy conditions for harvesting equipment, he added.
"There would be the potential for the crop to be successfully processed but the delay has driven the finish dates for some of the factories back into December...and you always face the risk then of a collision with the wet season," Mr. Crane said.
The industry is looking for a good run of dry weather from August through October to allow the harvest and crush continue unhindered, he said.
Green Pool Commodity Specialists said late Monday that a fine, cool week is forecast, which should help the sector boost output.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences forecast Australia's raw sugar exports will rise this year on the back of an expected rise in domestic output.
Exports are expected to rise 12% in the fiscal year that began July 1 to 3.35 million tonnes, but their value may fall 10% to A$1.51 billion (US$1.59 billion) due to lower global prices, Abares said in a forecast in late June.
Raw sugar production in Australia, usually the third-biggest exporter, is expected to rise 18% this year to 4.40 million tonnes following higher acreage and better yields after a run of poor seasons, Abares said.