From the Newsroom

NSW Cane Growers chairperson Ross Farlow and NSW Sugar Milling Co-Operative chairperson John Harbison say cane growers’ spirits have been boosted by the record up to $54 a tonne price for sugar following a flood ravaged 2022. Image: Sunshine Sugar

Reduced harvest but record $54 price for canegrowers

Rodney Stevens


Despite a reduced harvest due to impact from the 2022 floods, Clarence Valley canegrowers are looking forward to record prices of up to $54 a tonne as the crushing season looks to kick off in late June.

The positive market conditions are providing a sense of optimism and confidence as canegrowers look to in return to full production into 2024 and beyond.

Sunshine Sugar CEO Chris Connors said a strong market for sugar has increased confidence in growers as the industry looks to rebound after the floods.

“The sugar market has risen significantly recently, and we have decided to take a more aggressive approach with our hedging program, targeting pricing 70% of our projected production,” he said.

“The outcome of this is expected to deliver a cane price to growers of as much as $54 per tonne.”

Sunshine Sugar said the price of $54 a tonne is the highest price on record for sugarcane anywhere in Australia.

NSW Cane Growers chairperson Ross Farlow said the record price had boosted spirits of those in the industry following a disappointing 2022.

“A record price of over $50 per tonne will be very well received and have an uplifting impact on the spirit of our farming community,” he said.

“Whilst most growers have greatly reduced crops to harvest this year, they will no doubt be looking to plant as much as they can later in the season, with a view to benefiting from this record pricing level continuing into 2024 and beyond.”

Chairman of the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative and cane grower, John Harbison said the record prices will assist cane growers to rebuild and return to full production.

“We appreciate that growers across the NSW Northern Rivers will be working to recover and rebuild their farming operations for some time, so we are genuinely pleased that we can deliver record sugar prices on their behalf and will continue to support them every step of the way to full production,” he said.

Following the 2022 floods, a large amount of soybean was planted throughout the Clarence Valley as a fallow crop for flood damaged paddocks.

Now cane growers who planted the soybean are benefitting from the high prices for the legume, with some growers reporting offers of $800 to $850 per tonne.

Soybeans put nitrogen into the soil providing a nutrient rich environment, plus a welcome cash injection, for farmers who will begin planting their next sugar cane crops from late August, depending on climatic conditions.