Glossary

Advances Interim payments made to mill owners before the declaration of a season’s final price.

Ash Inorganic matter in sugar, residue left after bagasse is burnt.

Assignment A term previously used to describe the right to grow sugarcane for supply to a particular sugar mill; later called Cane Production Area (CPA), which was abolished in 2005.

Bagasse Crushed fibre remaining after milling of sugarcane. Main fuel source used to generate steam for mill operation in Australia.

Billets Common name for chopped lengths of cane (approx. 300 mm) produced by mechanical cane harvesters.

Brand 1 The product specification for the principal Queensland export brand of raw sugar.

Brix A unit that expresses the concentration of solids in aqueous solutions e.g., a 60 degrees brix sugar solution has the same density as a solution that is 60% by weight sugar. Used in cane analysis as a substitute for ‘all soluble material’.

BST Bulk sugar terminal.

Cane Sugarcane

Cane payment formula A formula based on price of sugar, CCS, and sugar recovery. Used by Queensland sugar industry to allocate net income from sugar sales between growers and millers. Contains incentives for growers to improve cane CCS and for millers to improve rate of recovery of sugar.

Cane Production Area (CPA) Previously called Assignment, CPAs were abolished in 2005. They entitled a grower to enter into a Cane Supply and Processing Agreement with a mill owner to supply sugarcane grown on a particular area of land with a particular land description. CPA was separate to land and could be sold, leased or transferred as if property. Allocation of CPAs established a framework for orderly industry production, supply and milling of cane.

Cane Production Area Register Each Cane Production Board was required to keep a register of each CPA for a particular mill. Abolished 2005.

Cane Production Board (CPB) Abolished 2005. Similar to former Local Board but also had a role in ensuring sustainable production of sugarcane. Comprised 2 grower members (nominated by MSC), 2 miller representatives, and an independent chairman. CPBs were responsible for granting, transferring, canceling or varying cane production areas; implementing decisions of the negotiation team about area expansion; administering processes related to movement of cane supply between mills; making guidelines about land use, environmental and transport management applicable to new applications for grants of CPA; making guidelines about anything relevant to cane growing.

Cane Protection & Productivity Boards Formerly called Cane Pest & Disease Control Boards, their role was to improve quantity and quality of cane crops in a particulalr area.

Cane Supply & Processing Agreement Formerly called a Local Award, replaced in 2005 by grower contracts; covered seasonal cane supply and payment arrangements. Each grower with a CPA was required to have a supply agreement with a mill owner for each season, either collective or individual. A collective agreement, made by a negotiating team, was legally binding and enforceable on the mill owner and each grower taken to have entered into the agreement.

Cane sugar (sucrose) A carbohydrate comprising glucose and fructose linked together. Sucrose can also be obtained from sugar beet and is present in fruits.

CCS (Commercial Cane Sugar) An estimate, by empirical (based on the results of experiment, observation or experience, not from mathematical or scientific reasoning) formula, of pure sugar recoverable from cane, expressed as a percentage.

CIF (cost, insurance, freight) When sugar is sold on a cif basis, the seller is responsible for arranging and paying for cargo loading, shipping and insurance to the port of discharge. Queensland raw sugar exports are sold on a cif basis. Sales on c & f basis differ only in that the buyer pays for the insurance.

Clarification Process of separating insoluble suspended matter and some soluble substances from cane juice to produce a clear juice. This is achieved by adding lime and flocculants, then heating and allowing suspended matter to settle in vessels known as clarifiers.

Coefficient of work Also called Pool Sugar Index, one measure of the efficiency of operation of a sugar mill. It represents recovery of raw sugar (expressed as tonnes IPS) per 100 tonnes CCS in cane, i.e. output/input.

Crystallisation Process of ‘growing’ crystals by boiling them with syrup in a vessel under vacuum. Crystallisation is induced by admitting a slurry of ground-up refined sugar, or slurry of small raw crystals into a vessel at a critical stage of boiling. Crystals are then grown to desired size.

Cyclamate High intensity sweetener 30 times sweeter than sugar. Usually blended, rather than used on its own. Prior to 1970 ban on its use in the USA, diet soft drinks used a 50/50 blend with saccharin. Some countries have since allowed its use but others have imposed stricter end-use restrictions or bans.

Easement A right previously given by a landholder or granted by the Sugar Industry Commissioner to a mill or grower to use part of the owner’s land. Railway easements could only be granted to mill owners.

Ethanol Alcohol made from fermented molasses (or other sources) for use as a fuel, as a potable spirit or in manufactured products.

Fibre Cane plant’s vegetable skeleton in which juice is stored and through which plant food, dissolved in solid water, is distributed throughout the plant. Milling ruptures the fibre cells, freeing the juice. Fibre content varies according to variety but normal range is 11%-16%.

Filter mud  When insoluble matter is extracted from cane juice during clarification it forms a mud comprising water and solids (mainly soil, fibre, calcium phosphate, denatured protein and a small amount of sugar). After removal from the clarifiers the mud is filtered and washed to recover remaining sugar. Filter mud is used by farmners to improve their soil.

Final price The price for IPS sugar declared each season by Queensland Sugar after taking account of net proceeds from sales or proposed sales of the relevant season’s sugar, maintenance of reserve accounts necessary to fund its operation, all costs of sale of the sugar, and administrative costs of carrying out its functions. Final price is declared at end of June or early July and the balance of unpaid money paid to mills and growers.

FOBS (free on board and stowed) The buyer arranges shipping and pays freight and insurance, and takes responsibility for the sugar immediately it is loaded on board the ship. The seller is required to pay loading costs and stowage at loading port.

Fructose A sugar that occurs in fruit, the nectar of flowers, honey and in cane juice and sugar products. Found in equal quantity with glucose when sucrose is inverted.

Futures price Price of a particular futures contract. Futures contracts are agreements to buy or sell a fixed amount of a commodity at a fixed price at a fixed date in the future. For a futures contract to exist, one party has to agree to buy and take delivery while the other party has to agree to sell and supply the commodity. This obligation may be discharged by a reverse paper transaction (with some other person in the market), and the futures market may be used for hedging or for speculative purposes. On sugar markets, futures prices are usually quoted up to 18 months ahead.

GCTB (Green Cane Trash Blanketing) Process of spreading cane leaves and tops on the ground after harvesting a cane crop green (without burning). Trash blanketing helps reduce soil erosion, retains soil moisture, minimises weed growth and improves soil structure.

Global Sugar Alliance  Australia, frustrated at lack of progress by the ITO in freeing-up world trade in sugar, initiated a Global Alliance for Sugar Trade Reform and Liberalisation with Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, Panama and Thailand in Seattle in November 1999. The Alliance seeks to encourage open discussion about the benefits of sugar trade liberalization for efficient producers.

Glucose A sugar occurring naturally in grapes, honey, sweet fruits, and in cane juice and sugar products; it can also be made from wheat. In the human body, sucrose is converted into glucose and fructose before being used to provide energy. Formed in equal quantity with fructose when sucrose is inverted. In solution, it rotates polarised light to the right. Has the chemical composition C6H12O6 and may also be called dextrose.

HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) Common name for starch-based fructose/glucose syrups. Corn is the starch base of these syrups although other less widely used starch sources include rice, wheat and tapioca. In Europe HFCS is referred to as isoglucose. HFCS competes directly with sugar particularly in USA, Canada, Japan and Korea. Used mainly in industrial applications, particularly in beverages.

Invert A liquid sugar product produced at a mill. Contains mixture of glucose and fructose obtained by a process of inversion.

IPS (International Pol Scale) A price adjustment scale described in the rules of the Sugar Association of London. It defines incremental price premiums and penalties applied to sugar above 96 degrees polarisation.

Juice Cane juice comprises water with sugar and other dissolved substances, and some insoluble particles in suspension.

Liquor Juice that has had water boiled off it so that it is ready to produce sugar crystals.

Local Board Later called Cane Production Board

Local Award Later called Cane Supply & Processing Agreement.

Massecuite Mixture of crystals and molasses produced by crystallisation in a vacuum pan. The term is French for ‘cooked mass’.

Mechanical harvesting Machines have harvested all sugarcane in Australia since 1979. Cane was cut mechanically as early as 1889 but hand cutters prevailed until 1960s. Between 1961 and 1970 the proportion of the crop cut by machines rose from 5% to 92% and by 1973 virtually all was cut mechanically.

Mill peak A term once used to describe the amount of sugar manufactured from cane harvested from assigned lands for which there was an entitlement to pay No 1 Pool price. The peak for each mill was gazetted each year or adjusted when required.

Mill Suppliers’ Committee A body that was established under Queensland legislation to represent the cane growers in a particular mill area. Also described as a CANEGROWERS Area Committee.

Metric abbreviations Some commonly used industry terms include:

  • Mt - million tonnes
  • mt - metric ton
  • mtrv - metric tons raw value
  • mttq - metric tons tel quel
  • mtwv -  metric tons white value
  • tonne - 1000 kg or 2204.6 lb

Net titre (nt) A measure of the commercial value of raw sugar for refining purposes used for statistical and payment purposes in the Australian industry prior to adoption of IPS.

NY #11 (New York No.11 raw sugar futures contract) This contract, traded on the New York Board of Trade, which incorporates the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange, is a deliverable futures contract with deliveries accepted from 29 sugar producing countries throughout the world. The contract is recognized as a benchmark for US CIF (cost, insurance & freight) domestic raw sugar prices. The price of sugar in the next NY #11 contract period is a reasonable estimate of the current world price of sugar.

Pest Boards Former name for Cane Protection & Productivity Boards.

Plant cane Cane which grows from setts (pieces of cane stalk planted in the ground).

Polarisation (pol) A measure of the sucrose content of sugar. Broadly, sugar with 98 pol (sometimes expressed as 98 degrees pol) would contain about 98% sucrose.

Pools Until 1996, production of sugar in Queensland was divided into two payment categories. The No 1 Pool price was fixed at a higher rate than No 2 Pool. No 1 Pool comprised raw sugar produced by mills within peak i.e. the total of mill peaks less any shortfalls by individual mills in a particular season. No. 2 Pool comprised sugar, produced from cane grown on land for which an assignment had been granted, in excess of No 1 Pool. Queensland now has only one pool for payment purposes.

Ratoon Cane that grows from buds remaining in the stubble left in the ground after a crop has been harvested. One plant usually grows three to four ratoon crops.  (See also Sett and Stool.)

Raw sugar The sugar crystals separated from massecuite in a centrifugal in a raw sugar mill. Sucrose content is varied to satisfy the requirements of customers. It is mainly in the range 97% to 99.5% sugar.

Raw Sugar Industry A term used to describe the Australian sugar industry excluding the refining sector. In formal submissions to government the term usually refers to ASMC, canegrowers and Queensland Sugar Ltd.

Raw value A term used internationally to express raw and refined sugars on a common basis (96 pol equivalent). International sugar statistics are expressed as metric tons raw value (mtrv).

Refined sugar Refined sugar is made up of 99.93% sucrose, 0.01% reducing sugars, 0.01% other organic matter, 0.01% ash, and 0.04% water.

Saccharimeter, polarimeter Sugar analysis instruments which measure rotation of polarised light when passed through a sugar solution. The degree of rotation is a measure of the sugar in solution.

Season For statistical and accounting purposes the Australian season extends from 1 July to 30 June. The crushing season usually begins in early June and ends in December, typically running for 20 to 22 weeks.

Sett Piece of cane stalk that contains roots and buds. When roots develop, they anchor the sett and provide food for the germination of the buds from which the cane stalk grows. In this way the stool is created and new roots developed. (See Ratoon and Stool).

SIIB Cooperative Research Centre for Sugar Industry Innovation through Biotechnology, an alliance of Australian sugarcane biotechnology research organizations including four universities, sugar industry research groups, the Australian and Queensland Governments and commercial bodies, which aims to add value to Australian sugarcane.

Stale cane Cane which has deteriorated after being left uncrushed for lengthy period after burning and/or harvesting. Most cane in Australia is crushed within 16 hours of cutting.

Stool Cluster of cane stalks arising from germination of sugar cane setts, or the regrowth which comes from the buds remaining in the stubble after fully grown stalks are harvested. (See Sett and Ratoon).

Sucrose (common sugar) (See Cane Sugar).

Trash blanket Layer of cane leaves, tops and other organic matter left on the ground after green cane harvesting. Helps reduce soil eorsion, retains soil moisture, improves soil structure and limits weed growth.

WABCG World Association of Beet & Cane Growers