Strong out­look

SunRice pre­dicts sub­stan­tial profit in­crease next year

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Lo­cal pro­duc­ers have an­tic­i­pated a strong out­look for the up­com­ing sum­mer crop­ping sea­son with the an­nounce­ment SunRice has a pre­dicted net profit of $40 mil­lion for the 2018 fi­nan­cial year.

Ad­dress­ing the SunRice an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Jer­ilderie last Fri­day, CEO Rob Gor­don said this year would see an in­crease in profit from last year’s $34.2 mil­lion.

How­ever, Mr Gor­don said ‘‘this will be de­pen­dent on mar­ket con­di­tions and fac­tors’’, in­clud­ing trends in global rice mar­kets and ex­change rate move­ments.

SunRice chair­man Lau­rie Arthur said ‘‘over­all’’ mar­ket con­di­tions are im­prov­ing and the busi­ness has seen strong per­for­mance since the start of the fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘This fi­nan­cial year, we’re mar­ket­ing a large crop of 802,000 tonnes which is a mas­sive up­grade from the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year where we had a har­vest of just 244,000 tonnes,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve seen an im­prove­ment in the world mar­ket and we’re hop­ing for a good strong crop, with plant­ing to take place in Oc­to­ber.’’

How­ever, Mr Arthur said low gen­eral wa­ter se­cu­rity al­lo­ca­tion hangs an air of uncertainty over grow­ers.

‘‘The New South Wales Mur­ray al­lo­ca­tion is at 13 per cent and farm­ers are an­tic­i­pat­ing how much wa­ter will be avail­able come Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber,’’ he said last week.

Mr Gor­don also an­nounced SunRice is con­fi­dent it will achieve the C17 paddy price range of $320-$360/tonne for medium grain.

Grow­ers will also be en­cour­aged to grow higher value va­ri­eties with the an­nounce­ment SunRice will of­fer fixed price con­tracts for va­ri­eties such as Koshi­hikari ($520/tonne), Doon­gara ($450/tonne) and Reiziq ($360/tonne).

Al­though de­pen­dent on mar­ket con­di­tions, De­niliquin grower Alan Walsh said these fig­ures would allow for greater flex­i­bil­ity among farm­ers.

‘‘The new range of $320 to $360 for rice and with some con­tract prices out there, will give grow­ers an op­por­tu­nity to make plan­ning de­ci­sions for their crop,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘It will allow them to ei­ther fix ton­nage in or bud­get for high paddy prices.

‘‘Things are look­ing pos­i­tive and while wa­ter al­lo­ca­tion is low, we’re hope­ful some­thing will hap­pen soon.’’

De­spite fac­ing a ‘‘chal­leng­ing trading en­vi­ron­ment’’ in FY17, Mr Gor­don said the global rice mar­ket was mov­ing be­yond the bot­tom of the cy­cle, with im­prov­ing medium grain rice prices due to a sup­ply short­age in the Cal­i­for­nia mar­ket.

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