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Sugar Cargo Reaches New Sweetness Threshold

Sugar Cargo Reaches New Sweetness Threshold

New Season Sugar Cargo to arrive at Chelsea Wharf

The largest single cargo of raw sugar to be shipped to New Zealand arrives at the Chelsea Sugar Wharf today on board the MV Lyttelton.

The MV Lyttelton is carrying 32,250 tonnes of raw sugar from Queensland and is the first of the new season’s sugar cane harvested by Queensland growers. The raw sugar supplier, Queensland Sugar Limited, has been a key supplier of raw sugar to New Zealand and has shipped over 5.4 million tonnes to Chelsea since 1972.

The Chelsea Sugar Refinery will take six weeks to process this consignment into a range of around 30 sugars and sugar based ingredients that will be supplied to food and beverage companies, the hospitality industry and grocery sector where Chelsea Sugar remains New Zealand’s most trusted sugar brand. A significant amount of product will also be exported to markets such as the Pacific Islands, Australia and Japan.

The Birkenhead site was originally chosen for sugar refining because of its natural deep water berth, and the height of the Harbour Bridge built in 1955 was a consideration because of the need to ensure sugar laden ships could pass under it. As ships have increased in size, their arrivals have to be carefully planned around tides to ensure a safe ‘air draft’ under the bridge.
The tonnage of raw sugar carried on the MV Lyttelton is nearly 1,300 tonnes greater than any previous consignment, and significantly larger than the typical cargo of about 27,500 tonnes.


About Chelsea

Chelsea has been inspiring baking in New Zealand since 1884 with its wide range of quality sugar products. From its beginnings on a picturesque site on Auckland’s North Shore, Chelsea has grown to be one of New Zealand’s iconic brands and a pantry staple for many Kiwi kitchens.

Nestled amongst bush on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour, the Chelsea Sugar Refinery has been supplying top quality products to kiwi homes and businesses for 128 years. Generations of New Zealanders have grown up with the taste of Chelsea and the iconic pink packets in their pantries.

About Queensland Sugar Limited

Queensland Sugar Limited (QSL) has built an excellent reputation for quality, service and innovation in the Asian sugar market over 40 years. QSL works on behalf of Australian sugar millers and growers to build sustainable business partnerships with sugar refiners in the Asia-Pacific region. QSL is responsible for more than 90 per cent of Australian sugar exports and grows the value of this sugar by offering a ‘one stop shop’ for international customers, incorporating logistics, shipping, risk management and a range of product options. To sign up for regular news updates, visit

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