Trans-Pacific Partnership "bittersweet" for sugar industry

MARYBOROUGH canegrowers are expected to feel a small increase in revenue thanks to Australia's rectified Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement with the United States of America.

After five years of negotiations the agreement has been described as "bittersweet" by Canegrowers chairman Paul Schembri.

The export to the US will increase by 65,000 tonnes to 152,000 tonnes annually.

Mr Schembri said that extra access would translate to about $13 million per year for the Australian sugar industry.

Maryborough Canegrowers manager Trevor Turner said local growers could notice a small increase following the agreement.

He said about 3% of the country's sugar was exported to the U.S.

"It will probably go up to about 5% of the total production," he said.

Mr Turner said the higher price made the US a lucrative market.

"The price they give in the US is far and above what the world price is for sugar - we'll get a higher price on a smaller proportion," he said.

He said the local Canegrowers branch could not do too much to affect the agreement, instead leaving the negotiating to politicians.

"It's at a higher limited than what we can do locally," he said.

Maryborough Sugar Factory general manager Stewart Norton said the season's crush was about 70% through.

"We are well up on last year," he said.

"Last year we did 470,000 and this year we're looking at 830,000 tonnes."

Mr Norton said technological advances as well as good weather had assisted.

"We haven't done above 700,000 (tonnes crushed) in more than a decade," he said.


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