Sunrice to deliver more money to growers
Local growers will receive a rice price boost after Sunrice announced increases on Friday.
Sunrice will increase the third and fourth payments to rice growers for the 2010/11 crop.
The third payment, made yesterday, was increased by $4 per tonne to $18 per tonne.
The fourth payment, to be made on April 24, will also increase by $4 per tonne to $10 per tonne.
Growers receive a series of payments throughout the year and have already received the first two payments, totalling $175 per tonne for medium grain.
The total price could exceed $230 per tonne depending on business performance for the remainder of this financial year, according to Sunrice.
While local farmers said $230 was historically below average, they were still pleased with the increases.
Conargo Shire ricegrower Nick Morona said the price increases were a ‘‘reflection on world markets’’.
Friday’s announcement was ‘‘really welcome’’, he added.
‘‘Our costs are rising incredibly fast. To have that price increase is really going to help a lot of people.
‘‘It is also going to help with the cold start we have had and also the massive duck issues.
‘‘The crops that have been fortunate to not have any duck damage, but have been sown on time, most look like they’re actually starting to fill and turn now which is a relief after a lot of the cold weather we’ve had.
‘‘The price rise gives us confidence that rice is still the number one summer crop to grow in our region.’’
Mr Morona said fuel, fertiliser and machinery costs have been ‘‘skyrocketing’’.
Sunrice chief executive Rob Gordon said the company was ‘‘delighted’’ to increase payments.
‘‘The payments have been made possible by Sunrice’s improved operational cashflow, due to the timing of sales into tender markets,’’ he said.
‘‘This has had a positive effect on export sales volumes in the first half of the year.’’
Growers will be advised of the fifth and estimated final payments this week.