AUSTRALIAN branded foods company, SunRice, has announced an additional payment of $25 per tonne for all varieties delivered into the 2018 crop year (C18) Rice Pool, providing a $12 million injection for Riverina rice growers.
The payment was made on top of SunRice’s scheduled February 1, 2019, C18 paddy pool payment.
The timing of the payment will assist growers who have planted a crop this year (C19) amidst tough drought conditions and high water prices.
In an update to growers, SunRice chairman Laurie Arthur said the payment was made possible due to the business’ strong focus on achieving premium prices in key markets around the world and cost control in anticipation of a smaller C19 crop.
“Despite whole grain yields for the C18 crop and difficult milling conditions due to heat and low humidity affecting operational efficiencies, the Rice Pool continues to benefit from the geographical sales mix of Australian rice exports into markets such as Japan and the Middle East, and the expansion of the Koshihikari rice varietal and Long Grain sales into food service channels,” he said.
“We have recently reviewed market conditions and SunRice’s outlook and following positive trading conditions in December 2018 and ongoing cost saving measures, SunRice is in a position to adjust upwards the C18 paddy pool price range for medium grain Reiziq to between $385-$410/tonne (the previous low end of the range was $360/tonne).
“As a result, there will be an additional payment of $25/tonne for all varieties delivered into the C18 Rice Pool, representing an additional $12 million injection into the regional communities that we operate in and are a part of.”
Mr Arthur said the business was acutely aware of the tough ongoing drought conditions across the Riverina, and hoped the additional payment would assist this year’s growers.
“We have been closely monitoring the drought situation throughout the Riverina and the implications this is having on water allocations and prices. SunRice is sharing in this experience with our growers and has had to make tough decisions regarding the reconfiguration of operations and staffing levels in the Riverina in anticipation of the greatly reduced size of the C19 rice crop,” he said.