THE NSW Government has extended the rice exports single desk.
NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson has announced the Government would renew the vesting powers of the NSW Rice Marketing Board until June 30, 2017.
The arrangement means SunRice will continue to hold the sole licence to export rice from NSW.
The single desk powers have remained in place since 1928.
Ms Hodgkinson said the Government's decision to extend the rice export single desk followed an extensive review on whether vesting yielded net benefits to the rice industry.
"The review found convincing evidence that vesting is delivering price premiums to NSW growers in export markets relative to prices achieved by competitor countries selling into those same markets in most seasons," she said.
She said the next review would not occur until 2017, when the current arrangements expired.
The announcement is a setback for Australia's largest rice producer, Colin Bell, who has recently been arguing for abolition of the rice single desk.
Mr Bell's company, Australian Food and Agriculture Company, commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to compile a report on SunRice's operations.
Deloitte Access Economics had argued Australian rice growers were receiving prices substantially less than those in California – a claim countered by SunRice.
The move to extend the single desk has been welcomed by the Ricegrowers Association of Australia.
The association's president Les Gordon said it was a "crucial win" for the Australian rice industry.
"It will provide certainty for growers, maximise returns and maintain the industry’s competitiveness in export markets," Mr Gordon said.