Mossman Sugar Mill open to sell-off for the right price
MOSSMAN Sugar Mill would not rule out any sell-off in the future, growers were told at the annual general meeting yesterday.
Chairman Bill Phillips-turner said the mill continues to be a viable asset of the community but remains open to selling if it is in the best interests of growers.
In recent months much of Australia’s ownership of sugar mills has been dissolved by giant Chinese and Singaporean companies shoring up their sugar needs for the future.
“The greatest change in the Australian sugar industry in the ownership of the mills has taken place in just the past 12 months with more than 75 percent of the milling companies being sold to foreign hands,” Mr Phillips-turner said.
“Apart from Mossman, there are only three sugar milling companies left in Queensland that are Australian-owned.”
But Mr Phillips-turner said that even though the industry had gone through hard times in the past 10 years, the next 10 years was look- ing promising.
“During the next decade our existing sugar export orders will increase with China and Japan and Korea and Indonesia wanting our sugar which is good for our growers and good for the mill here in Mossman,” he said.
“But as far as foreign ownership is concerned that day will come when it is likely the board will have to make a decision.
“We all know that China has very deep pockets and is buying up what it needs, but in an ideal world it would be nice to have a balance between local and foreign ownership.
“The directors will always do what’s in the best interest of the mill and we will always leave the door open for any future plans.”