16 May 2014

Ravensdown cuts its losses in Qld

8:20 pm on 16 May 2014

The Ravensdown fertiliser co-operative has closed its last remaining Australian operation: its fertiliser company in Queensland.

The company said this year was always going to be make or break for its Queensland business, and poor sales on the back of cyclones, flooding and less than sweet prices for sugar, meant it was the latter.

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Photo: AFP

Ravensdown recently sold its Western and South Australian operations and said it was putting its Australian foray behind it as it focused on turning around its New Zealand business.

Chief executive Greg Campbell said Ravensdown just couldn't sell enough fertiliser in Queensland.

He said the last 12 to 14 months had been particularly tough and had shown its Queensland operation was not financially viable.

"Unfortunately the original plan was based on 100,000 tonnes per year but we had weather events, cyclones, flooding," he said.

"There's been things like depressed world prices for sugar, which meant the fertiliser tonnes they only reached last year, 70,000 tonnes. This business is a business of scale."

Mr Campbell said Ravensdown was well on the way to turning its business around.