SunRice predicts local rice crop to boom next year


SUNRICE predicts the upcoming Australian rice crop will be 268 per cent larger than the last.

This year’s rice crop was 244,000 tonnes and is predicted to increase to 900,000 next year.

“With water pricing having declined by about $100 a megalitre compared to the previous year due to improved water availability, SunRice considers that planting rice remains an attractive proposition,” SunRice said at its annual general meeting today.

“The company estimates that our growing and vibrant markets could support a (2017) crop of 900,000 tonnes and we are encouraging growers to maximise their upcoming planting plans.”

Last year the industry had to source about 600,000 tonnes of rice from overseas to supplement the crop, which was the lowest in seven years — down 445,215 tonnes on last year’s production.

“Over the past five years, SunRice has successfully implemented a strategy that has improved the company’s overall performance and profitability, and has built resilience across the business,” SunRice said in its AGM statement.

In May SunRice was planning to delist the business on the National Stock Exchange and instead float on the Australian Securities Exchange, allowing outside investors to buy and sell shares.

However, Australia’s rice monopoly is now unsure about its capital restructure, with one of its joint venture partners deciding to review its partnership with the company, and uncertainty about the potential implementation of Papua New Guinea quotas.


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