Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

19 June 2020

Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews

Agribusiness, commercial fishing and aquaculture news from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.  Please email export@dpird.wa.gov.au if you have any questions or information to share.  Click here to subscribe to this newsletter.

Applications open for 2020 Indonesian feed grain quota reservations

The Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has issued an Industry Advice Notice (IAN) notifying interested exporters that applications for reservations of tariff rate quota (TRQ) for feed grain exports to Indonesia open on 22 June 2020.  Exporters wishing to access the feed grain TRQ to Indonesia in 2020 must submit a completed Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) feed grain TRQ reservation application from 22 June 2020 to the Quota Administration Unit.

The IA-CEPA feed grain TRQ allows access for specified volumes of eligible products to be exported to Indonesia at reduced tariff rates when accompanied by a TRQ certificate. A total of 244,535 tonnes of feed grain is available for the 2020 quota year.  The TRQ is administered by the department under a sales contract-based reservation system.

For further information regarding this IAN, please email the Quota Administration Unit at quota.admin@awe.gov.au. More…  Source: DAWE  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Global food industry trends and COVID-19: what does it mean for your business?

Despite turbulence in the North American meat sector and labour availability issues in the fresh produce industry, the world’s food system has so far weathered the challenge of COVID-19 quite well, a global food expert told a recent online seminar.  Professor David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London, was addressing a webinar on global food industry trends and COVID-19, organised by the Agribusiness Food and Trade directorate of the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD). 

He said COVID-19 has accelerated many existing trends, but slowed down some others.  “Right across the world we have seen this move towards online grocery purchasing,” Professor Hughes said, expecting this trend to be maintained post-COVID-19.  He said a Nielsen survey in Asia showed that almost 90 per cent of consumers said they would be more willing to buy daily necessities and fresh products online after the pandemic.

Coming out of COVID-19, Professor Hughes said provenance will be really important.  "Australia and New Zealand, specifically, as exporters of fresh produce and chilled meats, will do very well because of your performance handling COVID-19," he said.  "If you look at your performance relative to many countries of the world, to many Asians it's a reminder that Australia – safeish place;  New Zealand  – very safe ... so, low risk associated with eating your food, which we loved, anyway."

A recording of the webinar and slide presentation is now available on DPIRD Food Industry Innovation's past events and seminars resources pageMore...  Source & Graphic: DPIRD / Professor David Hughes

Abalone relocation makes way for Ocean Reef Marina development

Up to 10 tonnes of adult breeding Roe's abalone will find new homes along Perth's coast as part of a translocation project to protect the future sustainability of the fishery ahead of the Ocean Reef Marina development. 

The project to move 100,000 Roe's abalone from the area around the Ocean Reef Marina development site has already seen about 68,000 abalone relocated to other reef platforms within the Marmion Marine Park.  The remaining abalone will be relocated between Trigg and Hillarys prior to work starting on the marina development later this year.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is co-ordinating the project in collaboration with commercial abalone divers who collect the prized shellfish.  The department has worked closely with the West Coast Abalone Divers Association to maximise the success of the translocation.

Perth metropolitan Roe's abalone commercial fishery accounts for approximately 24 tonnes of the State's total catch with a beach price value of $600,000.  Western Australia's total abalone exports in 2018-19 were worth $4.3 million, with the largest market being Hong Kong.   More…  Source: WA Minister for Fisheries / DPIRD / FRDC |  Photo:  DPIRD

Rabobank: WA wool and lobster producers hit hard by COVID-19

Western Australia’s wool and lobster producers are bearing the brunt of COVID-19 market disruption, according to Rabobank regional manager for WA, Steve Kelly.

In the latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey, 61 per cent  of sheep producers said they had been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

“The volatility of the export market into China and falling demand for textiles is causing angst among WA wool producers,” he said.

Mr Kelly said sheep meat producers, on the other hand, had recently enjoyed one of their best seasons on record. 

“Eastern Australian restockers sourcing sheep from WA has resulted in prices elevated to record levels,” he said.  More…  Source: Rabobank  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Webinar: Hong Kong market insights and opportunities

If the Hong Kong market interests you and you want up-to-the-minute insights on this important market for Australian food and agribusinesses, then register now for this webinar.

Taking place on 7 July 2020 at 10 am AWST, you will learn about the recent developments and numerous opportunities in the Hong Kong market from experienced executives including Thomas Woo, President, City'super Group, and Bonnie Shek, Director, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Moderated by Najib Lawland, founding Director of Export Connect, insights shared shall include: Hong Kong market overview and trends; opportunities for Australian products; how Australian brands can supply premium-retailer, City'super; what City'super looks for in a supplier; case studies of successful Australian food and agribusinesses exporters to Hong Kong.  More…  Source:  Export Connect  |  Photo:  WA Agrifood Export eNews

Austrade: China market insight

Australian red meat exports by volume to China continue to do well, despite COVID-19 and the recent suspension of four Australian meat establishments, according to Austrade’s latest market insight.  Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, show beef export volumes to China in 2020 to May totalled over 102,400 tonnes, compared with just over 95,400 tonnes for the same period last year – a 7.3 per cent increase by volume.

According to Meat and Livestock Australia, there remains plenty of inventory in China with the overall impact of the suspensions unlikely to be seen for several months. As consumption returns to more normal levels post COVID-19, reduced supply of Australian meat – especially for chilled beef – should help underpin prices for importers.

Sheep meat exports by volume to China to the end of May are down significantly, totalling just over 46,400 tonnes, compared with over 54,600 tonnes for the same period last year – a 17.7 per cent decrease by volume. Of the decline, less than 1 per cent has been in lamb cuts, which are generally higher value than mutton cuts.  More…  Source: Austrade  |  Related: Beijing market cluster triggers controls on imported food  Source:  Australian Financial Review [paid subscription]  |  Tassie seafood exporters hit pause as Beijing markets close  Source: ABC News  |  Photo:  WA Agrifood Export eNews

Aussie technology keeping global food supply chains open

Exporters are rising to the challenge of transporting product overseas amid COVID-19 disruptions to airfreight, thanks to unique Australian supply chain technology.  The technology from Escavox – an Australian company established in 2018 – is proving particularly significant in the current environment where exporters are being forced to consider sea freight as their key mode of transport while air travel remains heavily restricted.

The Escavox system starts by embedding a small, low-cost, easy-to-use data tracker with the fresh produce from point of pack, meeting the need for independent and validated data about what happens to food while on the supply chain journey.  Capturing time, temperature and location data, Escavox is giving food suppliers a full end-to-end view of the food supply chain, providing more information to better manage the food journey from farm to retail shelf, which ultimately delivers higher quality to the consumer and less waste for the retailer.  Having Escavox technology on hand means Australian red meat exporters can give their customers more confidence in the integrity of the product as it spends longer time in-transit.    More…  Source: Austrade  |  Related:  How COVID-19 is changing global shipping routes  Source:  FT  |  Photo:  Austrade [Sam O’Leary, Australian Organic Meats business development manager, holding the Escavox tracker on their Glenbye property in NSW]

FAO: Agrifood markets more resilient to COVID-19 than other sectors

Food markets will face many more months of uncertainty due to COVID-19, but the agrifood sector is likely to show more resilience to the pandemic crisis than other sectors, according to a new report released last week by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).  The Food Outlook report provides the first forecasts for production and market trends in 2020-2021 for the world's most traded food commodities – cereals, oilcrops, meat, dairy, fish and sugar.

"The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt – at varying degrees – across all food sectors assessed by FAO,” said Boubaker Ben-Belhassen, Director of the FAO Trade and Markets Division.  “Whilst COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to food security, overall, our analysis shows that from the global perspective, agricultural commodity markets are proving to be more resilient to the pandemic than many other sectors. That said, owing to the size of the challenge and the enormous uncertainties associated with it, the international community must remain vigilant and ready to react, if and when necessary."  More…  |  Related: Food Outlook – Biannual Report on Global Food Markets, June 2020  |  Source: FAO  |  Photo:  DPIRD

OECD: World economy on a tightrope

The COVID-19 lockdown measures brought in by most governments around the world have succeeded in slowing the spread of the virus and in reducing the death toll, but they have also frozen business activity in many sectors, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says in its latest Economic Outlook.  As restrictions begin to be eased, the path to economic recovery remains highly uncertain and vulnerable to a second wave of infections.  With or without a second outbreak, the consequences will be severe and long-lasting.

The economic impact of strict and relatively lengthy lockdowns in Europe will be particularly harsh.  Even in countries where containment measures have been relatively light, early data are already making clear that the economic and social costs of the pandemic will be large.  Growth prospects depend on many factors, including how COVID-19 evolves, the duration of any shutdowns, the impact on activity, and the implementation of fiscal and monetary policy support. Uncertainty will likely prevail for an extended period.

Given this uncertainty, the OECD provides two scenarios – by no means exhaustive – to reflect the possible evolution of the global economy.  One where the virus continues to recede and remains under control, and one where a second wave of rapid contagion erupts later in 2020.  In the double-hit scenario, it is assumed that renewed shutdowns are implemented before end of 2020, following another surge of the COVID-19 virus.  More…  Source: OECD  | Related:  Australia:  Massive macroeconomic policy support limiting economic shock  |  ABARES: COVID-19 to cause global recession in 2020  Source: ABARES  |  Photo:  Paris Aéroport