We were very privileged to have Mr Tom McNeill, owner and Director of Green Pool Commodities Pty Ltd provide our Proserpine and Mackay cane farmers with his view on the current and future sugar price.
Tom has well over thirty years in the sugar industry commencing as a Cane Inspector for the then CSR Mills in North Queensland, a long period of time with Queensland Sugar Limited as a Sugar Analyst, and then into the private sector, and for the last five years operating his own business Green Pool Commodities Pty Ltd.
Tom was able to present us with the background and the reasons for the recent movements in the sugar price, and more importantly to use his words from his presentation, “the unprecedented parabolic rise in the sugar price”. Tom explained that clearly the sugar price had been at its current level at previous times, but never had he seen it go up so quickly.
Tom emphasised in his presentation two factors that he believes was behind this incredible rise:-
- Although we have had numerous years of oversupply, the current sugar year and the next sugar year are predicted to have quite considerable deficits in production; and
- The increased interest and activity by hedge fund managers into the sugar industry.
Tom went on to explain that there has not in fact been any shortage of supply yet because of the past production oversupply and because of the amount of sugar that is stored worldwide. Tom believes that the market is reacting to a predicted deficit in about March 2017, however this deficit could be short lived because of the predicted increase in production by the European sugar beet growers which he believes will “kick in” in October / November 2017.
All of those who attended both the Proserpine and the Mackay presentations found Tom’s way of presenting, and knowledge of the sugar industry very engaging and no matter what questions he was asked by the attendees he was able to give considered and detailed responses.
We thank Tom for his effort and his attendance and we are confident that those who attended found it worthwhile.
We would appreciate feedback from those who attended as to whether they would like to partake in further seminars, in particular one from Tom McNeill at about the same time next year.