Toll crush talks to start soon

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LOOKING BACK -

MOSS­MAN Mill has sig­nalled it will start ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Table­land fac­tory on a toll crush agree­ment for the 2016 sea­son next month.

If suc­cess­ful, it will be the sec­ond year Mackay Su­gar­con­tracted cane is pro­cessed at the MSF Sugar-owned Table­land Mill af­ter the ri­val millers reached a land­mark deal to toll crush up to 250,000 tonnes of cane in April.

The agree­ment aimed to shorten the sea­son for Mackay Sugar’s Table­land and Moss­man grow­ers and use spare milling ca­pac­ity at the Ma­reeba fa­cil­ity, where a sugar mar­ket­ing dis­pute halved cane sup­ply last year.

Sam Adil (pic­tured), who was among ap­prox­i­mately 70 Table­land grow­ers to sign his cane over to the Moss­man mill in 2013, wel­comed the news the toll crush deal could be re­newed.

“That’s very good to hear, I think it’s worked well,” he said.

“It’s ben­e­fi­cial to both mills be­cause the Table­land mill can do with the ex­tra work and Moss­man mill needs a help­ing hand.

“With­out the agree­ment, the Moss­man mill wouldn’t be able to cope.”

Mr Adil and his broth­ers ex­pect to har­vest a near-record crop of 47,000 tonnes from their two prop­er­ties at Ma­reeba and Bi­boohra.

“It won’t be our best but it will be a good har­vest,” he said.

“The high­est we’ve been is 48,000 tonnes – that was a while ago with the old Q124 va­ri­ety, which was a very good one but we lost it to rust two years back.”

The Table­land crush has faced few dis­rup­tions thanks to mostly fine weather and is ex­pected to fin­ish by mid-Novem­ber.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Pat Ryan said the fac­tory had been run­ning very ef­fi­ciently since re­turn­ing to a seven-day op­er­a­tion.

“Fac­tory re­li­a­bil­ity is 97.5 per cent of avail­able time to date.”

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