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14 May 2021

Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews

Agribusiness, commercial fishing and aquaculture news from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).  If you have any questions or information to share, please email export@dpird.wa.gov.auSubscribe to Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews.

IFAM briefing: Explore innovative solutions

Western Australian agribusiness producers and exporters have been encouraged to consider innovative solutions to current freight challenges.  For example, moving to lower cost sea freight – where shelf-life requirements can be met – was one of the ideas discussed at an International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) briefing for Western Australia earlier this week. Such a move could potentially be achieved through the development of new products or cold chain management adjustments – including the use of new packaging and preparation techniques.

Other key messages from the briefing included:

  • The global freight situation will likely remain disrupted for the foreseeable future, with the International Association Transport Association (IATA) predicting that a return to anything like pre-COVID-19 passenger numbers internationally is not likely before 2024-25.
  • This means that both air and sea freight routes and capacities will remain constrained and freight rates are likely to remain significantly higher than pre-COVID-19 for some time.
  • Exporters are advised to take the time between now and when IFAM is due to cease (end of September 2021) to assess the sustainability of their business models.
  • Both the Australian Government and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) teams are here to support businesses in adapting their business models under the new trading environment.

WA exporters may also wish to consider support programs DPIRD is collaborating with, such as the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs' Program and SMART Projects and Supply Chains service to create a pilot project specifically on improving cold chain optimisation for eligible SMEs. If you would like to be involved, please register your interest with DPIRD's International Airfreight Coordinator, Terry Burnage, at terry.burnage@dpird.wa.gov.au.

The latest IFAM outbound and inbound flights are available on the IFAM website. Exporters should contact their freight forwarder and visit the IFAM website for further assistance.  For more information, please email airfreight@austrade.gov.au, or Austrade State Director WA, Jane Caforio, at jane.caforio@austrade.gov.auSource:  IFAM / DPIRD / AusIndustry  |  Photo:  Tigers International Solutions

UK-Europe market update for agrifood exporters

Western Australian agrifood exporters will have the opportunity to attend Austrade’s UK-Europe market update for agribusiness and food exporters next week.

The free online briefing this coming Tuesday 18 May 2021 at 2 pm AWST will be delivered by trade commissioners, business development managers and an expert from Deloitte Europe, operating in the COVID-19 environment. Ireland, the Nordic countries and Israel will also be covered.

Learn about the current state of play across this region.  Also hear key insights on market opportunities and information on how the Australian Government is supporting Australian agribusiness and food exporters impacted by trade disruptions.

This webinar is part of a series of international market updates for agribusiness and food exporters to be held in 2021. As part of the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative, Austrade services are being scaled up to include events that deliver the latest Austrade insights to help agrifood producers expand and diversify export markets.  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  James Newcombe / Unsplash

Wine market briefing on Vietnam

Austrade and Food Innovation Australia, supported by Wine Australia, will be offering a series of market briefings over the course of 2021, to assist wineries and producers in understanding and accessing key export markets, building capability and market readiness.  The first of these briefings is on Vietnam and takes place next Thursday (see details below).

Hear from various industry voices including Austrade's in-market representatives, local importers, retailers and logistics providers, as they paint the picture of the current market conditions, look at consumer trends and identify opportunities for the wine sector and challenges businesses may face.

These webinars – as part of the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative – are free for wineries and producers to attend and are part of a series of international market updates for agribusiness and food exporters to be held in 2021.  

Upcoming wine market briefings:

  • Vietnam Market Briefing – 11 am to 12 noon AWST on 20 May 2021
  • Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore Market Briefings – 7 July 2021
  • Japan Market Briefing – 14 July 2021
  • South Korea Market Briefing – 1 September 2021

Please visit Wine Connect for further information and access to virtual events and global tastings, including a rolling calendar of global business-to-business matching events in key wine markets over the next 12 months.  Eligible wineries can apply for Wine Export Grants to help cover the virtual exhibition space cost.  Eligible companies can also claim Export Market Development Grants.  Source: Austrade  |  Photo: iStock 

WA exporters to benefit from EMDG red-tape cuts

WA businesses looking to access the Federal Government’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program in the next financial year can expect a more streamlined process, with the recent announcement of changes to the application criteria.

The new process, which will be adopted on 1 July 2021, will entail:

  • Simpler applications requiring less documentation.
  • Application for grants once every two to three years, not annually as under the current scheme.
  • Funding to be specified in the grant agreement.
  • A new, simpler online application portal.

The changes will see the program transition to a grant-based scheme, from the current reimbursement model.  Upfront funding will be provided giving greater certainty to any WA businesses hesitant to enter into international markets. Small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, can feel supported in their efforts to expand overseas with the financial support provided in advance.

Some 4,000 businesses benefitted from the scheme last grant year, with $192 million committed in the 2019-20 period.  This equated to 70,000 employed across Australia, and an impressive $4.3 billion generated in export income.

Expenses incurred before the changeover (in the 2020-21 period) will be reimbursed as per the reimbursement model, and those affected by COVID-19 will still be supported as if their planned activity had gone ahead.  Support via the new EMDG mechanism will be applicable only to planned activity for the 2021-22 financial year. Source: Austrade / Australian Minister for Trade | Photo: iStock

Cattle export price remains high for WA pastoralists

Western Australia’s northern beef industry is reaping the benefits of an extraordinarily high price for live beef exports, which at $4.10 per kilo, is more than double the price pastoralists could receive a decade ago. Down from a peak of $4.40 in March, export prices have exceeded expectations and continue to remain far above average. Whilst Australia’s overall cattle exports have decreased, it is expected that these prices will drive a recovery in cattle exports out of Wyndham and further strengthen WA's beef export industry.

Easing drought conditions in Australia’s east have resulted in increased domestic demand for WA cattle from pastoralists looking to restock. Meanwhile, demand for cattle has remained strong from Indonesia, where Ramadan is about to end, and Vietnam, where there are growing opportunities for WA exporters to expand without Brazilian competition.

Similarly, in the second half of 2021, it is predicted that the gradual economic recovery of Australia’s largest trading partners – such as the United States – and the reopening of the food service industry will increase demand for cattle and beef products. Therefore, even with an expected price correction in the near future, ongoing and increasing global demand for Australian beef will provide some overall stability in the market. Source: ABC/Beef Central | Photo: DPIRD

Strong market diversification prospects for barley exporters

Following changes in the international trading landscape in 2020, market diversification efforts have resulted in numerous new opportunities for both feed and malt barley exporters.

Saudi Arabia has once again become the top destination for Australian feed barley exports and further surpluses have largely worked to fill the feed grain deficit in Asia. It is estimated that there has been a 35% year-on-year increase in barley exports to Thailand alone.

With WA the nation’s largest producer of malting barley, Rabobank has also highlighted some of the upcoming opportunities for the State’s malt barley exporters. Indeed, they estimate that global malt demand will grow by 1.3 million tonnes by 2030, with growth rates as high as 2.1% over the next five years. This demand will be driven by two factors: premiumisation trends in developed markets – the increase in consumption of malted beer or higher levels of barley malt; and increased consumption of barley beer in emerging markets. This includes countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Mexico.

In Vietnam, 2-3% annual growth in beer production is expected for the foreseeable future, with similar prospects in India as consumers move away from higher alcohol beverages. Meanwhile, in more established markets like Japan, there is still space for export expansion as changing tax laws make full malt beer more affordable and health-conscious consumers increase demand for high beta-glucan barley.

Therefore, spreading risk is not a bad thing for WA barley producers: not only will it make the industry more flexible and resilient to global fluctuations, it also prompts exporters to explore new and unrealised opportunities along the way. Source: Rabobank/Farm Weekly/AEGIC | Photo: DPIRD

Consultations open for new export legal framework

Australia’s new agricultural export legislation, comprising the Export Control Act 2020 and the Export Control Rules 2021, commenced on 28 March 2021. The new export legislation was introduced by the Australian Government as part of a wider initiative to strengthen Australia’s agricultural exports and market access.

The new legal framework for agricultural exports reflects the outcome of extensive public consultations with stakeholders including farmers, other primary producers, exporters, trading partners, representatives from State and Territory governments and other government departments.  The feedback provided was valuable in helping ensure the new legislation is clear and fit for purpose – supporting growth and innovation while maintaining the level of regulatory oversight trading partners expect.

A review is taking place and face-to-face consultation sessions are planned for capital cities accross Australia. The Perth event takes place on 8 June 2021.

Please email exportlegislation@agriculture.gov.au to register interest in attending a session.  An invitation with details of the time and venue will be sent once finalised. Source: DAWE | Photo: iStock