The Australian sugarcane crush is set to commence next week with the Tableland Mill, west of Cairns scheduled to start crushing operations on Wednesday 25 May closely followed by the Mackay, Mossman and Tully Sugar mills which will get underway through the 30th and 31st of May.
The Australian Sugar Milling Council says that starting estimates for 2016 have now been finalised with a crop in the order of just over 34.5 million tonnes in prospect for Australia. This starting estimate is slightly lower than the 34.827 million tonnes of sugarcane that were crushed last year.
The Far Northern region of Queensland is reporting estimates for another large crop from Tully to Mossman expected to be very close to 7.2 million tonnes, down about 400,000 tonnes on the 2015 crop.
The Herbert – Burdekin areas are expecting a crop of the same order as last year with 12.75 million tonnes forecast.
An improved growing season in the Central region of the State based on Mackay sees an early estimate of around 8.4 million tonnes available for harvest, up about 300,000 tonnes on last year.
Patchy rainfall through the summer growing season has resulted in a slightly reduced forecast crop in the Southern region with around 4 million tonnes expected.
Completing the outlook for Australia is New South Wales where another reasonable growing season has contributed to a crop of about 2.2 million tonnes.
The CEO of the Australian Sugar Milling Council, Dominic Nolan says that weather conditions over the next month will be the final determinant on the crop size and while some areas are in need of rain, others will be looking for fine conditions to ensure a smooth start to the season.