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Australian Sugar Industry Continues Recovery

21 May 2012
USDA ERS

AUSTRALIA - The Australian sugar industry continues its recovery from the severe weather events of the last few years. Sugarcane area for 2012/13 is forecast at 380,000 hectares, the highest level since 2009/10.

With the appearance of more normal weather patterns, land is being returned to cane production from other uses. Estimated area for 2011/12, at 366,000 hectares, is less than originally forecast due to anticipated prolonged recovery time from the cyclone and flood damage of 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Over the longer term, area is expected to increase to 400,000 hectares. This amount, however, is still far below the 448,000 hectares harvested in 2002/03.

Sugarcane production for 2012/13 is forecast at 31 mmt, up from the 28 mmt in 2011/12. Yields are expected to recover to more normal levels — the 2012/13 forecast is 81.6 mt/hectare compared with the disappointing 76.5 mt/hectare in 2011/12. Sugar production for 2012/13 is forecast at 4.5 mmt, up from 3.9 mmt in 2011/12.

Sugar exports for 2012/13 are expected to increase by 200,000 mt to 3.0 mmt. The relatively high value of the Australian dollar is believed to be a constraining factor that leads to fewer exports and higher ending stocks. These stocks are forecast at 363,000 mt, up considerably from the 73,000 mt estimated for 2012/13 beginning stocks.

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May 2012

TheCropSite News Desk



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