SunRice’s financial results were encouraging and will only improve as growers return to more normal production years, according to Berriquin Ricegrowers’ Association president Warren Lang.
SunRice last week announced year-on-year decreases in both its consolidated revenue and net profit after tax — 12 per cent and 34 per cent respectively — for the 12 months to the end of April 2017.
Mr Lang said considering the severely reduced total crop size in the 2016 year, the results were better than expected.
He said he expects growers to stick with rice as their crop of choice, pointing to this year’s return to near normal production levels locally.
‘‘The revenue and profit decreases are a direct link to the water allocations we received (for the 2016 crop year),’’ Mr Lang said.
‘‘In direct comparison to a big crop the year before, being a few million dollars short of profit year-on-year is still a pretty good result.
‘‘In the 2016 crop year we delivered a 244,000 tonne crop, and the company should be congratulated for virtually achieving a similar revenue to a larger crop.
‘‘It speaks for the company’s strength in diversity, so in a year like this (2017 crop) we have strong markets to turn to.’’
In addition to water allocations affecting crop size, SunRice has attributed the revenue and profit reductions to several factors.
They include the lower medium grain rice prices due to increased global production and stockpile levels, negative macroeconomic trends in key SunRice markets and weaker trading conditions experienced by CopRice and Riviana.
Mr Lang said with close to 800,000 tonnes of rice to come from the 2017 crop and confidence in water availability, conditions should continue to improve. He said food producers he knows were already looking to the next crop.
‘‘Rice is still going to be a staple and it appears our resources are in good shape,’’ Mr Lang said.
‘‘Rice prices have bottomed out, but it’s exciting to think where it may head next. It hit bottom and is now heading in the right direction.
‘‘This year (2017 crop) we delivered just on 800,000 tonnes. And we’re sitting here with strong resources, with water in the dams and catchments, so we hope to have a similar crop for 2018.
‘‘Because it has been a dry autumn, you can already see people are getting ready for the next crop.’’
■SunRice’s full financial results can be found on page 7 of the Winter 2017 Farming Extra, which is inserted in today’s edition.