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28 August 2020

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.

WA Trade Commissioner in Japan provides market insight for exporters

Western Australia’s Trade Commissioner in Japan has offered advice to agrifood and beverage companies looking to succeed in the Japanese market.

Japan is WA’s second largest market for agrifood and beverage exports, valued at around $1 billion in 2018-19. Key commodities are wheat, woodchips, barley, canola seeds, cereal straw, meat and malt.

Acting Commissioner in Japan, David McCulloch, said there are plenty of WA success stories in Japan.

"For example, Japanese udon noodles have created a strong demand for Australian Noodle Wheat (ANW) segregation, with WA exporting over 90 per cent of Australia’s wheat exports to that market by volume," Mr McCulloch said.

"But importantly for our food and beverage producers, a wide variety of smaller exporters are highlighting the sheer diversity of products from Western Australia.

"The exported range includes wine and spirits, seafood, lamb, avocados, melons, strawberries, truffles, vegetables, olive oil, chocolates, packaged foods and cut flowers.

"Successful smaller exporters have been extremely persistent and creative in accessing the Japanese market and, in one instance, a pairing of chocolate truffles with Margaret River chardonnay proved immensely successful during Valentine’s Day sales," Mr McCulloch said.

Mr McCulloch said most WA food products available in Japan are positioned at the premium end of the market.  He added that although quality may sustain price premiums, competitive pricing remains essential, as similar products from other jurisdictions will also be fighting for market share. 

“WA's clean, green image can be also an important factor in buying decisions, as Japanese people and companies have a strong affinity with the principles of sustainability and environmental protection.

"While Tokyo is the starting point for most new and prospective exporters, market entry via regional cities should also be considered.  Kobe, the capital of WA's Sister State partner Hyogo Prefecture, has a track record in attracting small exporters," Mr McCulloch said.

Mr McCulloch welcomes trade enquiries from WA exporters, so please feel free to contact him at David.McCulloch@jtsi.wa.gov.au.  For general enquiries, connect with the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Invest and Trade team or DPIRD at export@dpird.wa.gov.au.  More...  Source:  David, McCulloch / JTSI  |  Related: Scaling up your business in Japan – how and why?  Source:  Austrade / JETRO  |  Photo:  JTSI

Indonesian importer gets online taste of WA produce

A key Indonesian importer has learned more about fresh WA fruit and vegetables during a recent virtual meeting – part of a business matching program run by DPIRD.

PT Mulia Raya Agrijaya was one of five Indonesian import companies that were planning to visit Perth in 2020 to learn more about the State’s fresh produce, but had to cancel due to current travel restrictions.

Instead an online meeting was held between Mulia Raya and DPIRD to discuss the comparative advantages of WA’s horticulture industry.  The group also discussed opportunities under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement for carrots and citrus, in addition to other opportunities including apples, stone fruit, table grapes, avocados, strawberries and pulses.

DPIRD Primary Industries Trade Manager, I-Lyn Loo, said Mulia Raya showed strong interest in the WA Bravo™ apple variety and DPIRD will continue working with them to provide customised business matching services.

Indonesia was WA’s fourth largest export destination for agrifood and beverage, fisheries and forestry products, valued at $559.1 million in 2018-2019.  Source & Photo:  DPIRD 

Beyond Batik: Mastering Indonesian business culture

There are many who say that doing business in Indonesia is too hard, and yet there are Australian companies quietly making a success of a dynamic and growing market of more than 270 million people.  This is because they have learnt to adapt their attitude and business plan to the culture of the country.

This Bisnis Asia webinar next Tuesday 1 September 2020 at 11am AWST will show how you can also put Indonesia in your strategy for growth.  You will learn how to make small but effective adjustments, and better understand the approach and resources needed to give you an edge in the country.

Bisnis Asia is a part of Austrade's IA-CEPA Business Connect, an online program of events to help increase two-way understanding about the opportunities under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership AgreementMore...  Source:  Bisnis Asia  |  Photo:  AIBC

Innovating export channels: digital trade and online marketplaces

Digital trade is an increasingly important way for Australia to trade with the rest of the world, and opens up exciting opportunities for Australian businesses and consumers.

Australia’s free trade agreements (FTAs) includes digital trade commitments that increase opportunities for digital trade across all sectors of the economy, while also ensuring appropriate protections for consumers.

With COVID-19 impacting many brick-and-mortar retailers and changing the way consumers shop, join this Austrade webinar on 2 September 2020 at 9am AWST to hear how Australia’s FTAs support digital trade and the latest trends in e-commerce.

Visit the free trade agreements seminars page to learn more about the series and listen to past recordings.  More...  Source:  Austrade / DFAT

IFAM facilitating chilled food exports to Singapore

Australian chilled food exporters report they are able to ship chilled foods to Singapore via air freight weekly and without interruption, thanks to the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM).  Austrade notes in its latest ASEAN market insights that exporters also say they are successfully shipping via sea freight fortnightly without disruption.

Austrade also advises Malaysian food and beverage importers have seen increased demand for apples, oranges and citrus produce and are keen to fulfil this demand with Australian exports. Malaysian importer Pikzern Marketing is seeking Australian dairy manufacturers to fulfil monthly orders for up to two, full container loads of cream, as well as sliced processed cheese. 

For further assistance, please contact AustradeMore...   |  Related:  Latest outbound and inbound IFAM flights  |  Latest insights from Austrade  |  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  WA Agrifood Export eNews

Australia’s first electric-hybrid fishing vessel arrives in Fremantle

Australia’s first electric-hybrid fishing vessel arrived in Fremantle this week, following a 44-day voyage from Norway.

The Cape Arkona is owned by Perth-based Austral Fisheries.  It completed outfitting in early July in Maloy, Norway, and was developed in close collaboration between Austral Fisheries, Baatbygg (one of Norway's leading shipyards) and the designers.  The hull was built by Marine Projects in Gdansk, Poland.

Austral Fisheries Chief Executive Officer David Carter said the Cape Arkona has world leading technology.

“Not only is it the first electric-hybrid vessel in Australia, and probably the southern hemisphere, it’s the first multi-functional vessel of this size that can fish by trawling, long line and deploying pots,” Mr Carter said.

“We are pretty chuffed with the final product and very keen to get her into the fishery and test all her systems in the rigours of the Southern Ocean. 

"The Cape Arkona embodies all that is important to us – the confidence that we have in the industry, the wish to provide our crews with the best and safest tools possible, and the leading-edge low emission technology that reflects our commitment to sustainability," Mr Carter said.

Electric-hybrid vessels and other emission-reducing technologies are part of a wider push by maritime industries to cut CO2 emissions and air pollution.  In addition, the International Maritime Organisation (the United Nations body that makes regulations for international shipping) recently introduced new rules about vessel fuels.

From 1 January 2020 the limit for sulphur in fuel oil was reduced to 0.5 per cent from the previous limit of 3.5 per cent.  This significantly reduces the amount of pollution emanating from ships and has major health and environmental benefits, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts globally.  More...  |  Video:  Journey of Austral Fisheries' Cape Arkona from Maloy, Norway to Fremantle  |  Source:  Austral Fisheries / IMO  |  Photo:  Austral Fisheries

Survey: Nationally harmonised framework for managing biosecurity treatments

The Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment  (DAWE) has issued an Industry Advice Notice inviting industry to participate in a survey about a nationally harmonised framework for managing biosecurity treatments.

To inform the exploration of the new framework, DAWE wants to hear from people who know how Australia’s biosecurity requirements are applied on the ground.  

Feedback can be provided via a survey which will be open until 11 September 2020.  If you have any questions regarding this notice, please email afas@awe.gov.au.  More...  Source & Photo:  DAWE 

Cautious Chinese buying on global dairy market in months ahead

While recent strengthening in China’s economy should be good news for Australian dairy exporters, the global dairy import giant’s appetite for trade may not be so robust, according to a China-based dairy sector expert.

Speaking on a recent Rabobank podcast – which looked at the critical role China’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will have on Australian dairy commodity and farm-gate prices in the months ahead – Rabobank Shanghai-based senior dairy analyst Sandy Chen said that, despite a recent strengthening seen in the Chinese economy, he expected basic dairy market fundamentals in China would maintain some weakness in the Oceania dairy commodity prices during the coming months.

“Chinese milk production has remained firm and food service consumption soft, Chinese stocks are mounting, and the lower import demand will be a key factor for Australian exporters,” Mr Chen said.

Western Australian dairy products exported to China were valued at $6.1 million in 2019-20, down 64 per cent from $17 million in 2018-19, due mainly to a decline in exports of milk and cream.  More...  [Audio]  Source:  Rabobank  |  Photo:  DPIRD

EU eliminates tariffs on US lobster

The United States and the European Union have announced an agreement on a package of tariff reductions that will see the EU eliminate tariffs on imports of live and frozen US lobster.

The EU will eliminate these tariffs on a most-favoured-nation basis, retroactive to begin 1 August 2020.

The EU tariffs – currently 8 per cent on live US lobster and up to 20 per cent on processed – will be eliminated for a period of five years.

However, the European Commission says it will promptly initiate procedures aimed at making the tariff changes permanent.

US exports of these products to the EU were valued at over US$111 million in 2017, although they have since dropped steeply as European consumers switch to tariff-free Canadian lobster after the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement came into force in September 2017.

Western Australia's Western rock lobster exports to the EU in 2019-20 were valued at $174,000, up 26 per cent from $138,000 in 2018-19.  More...  Source:  European Commission / Kate Pritchett, DPIRD / FT  |  Related:  EU eliminates tariffs on US lobster exports  Source:  Intrafish [paid subscription]  |  Photo: Maine Lobster / Business Wire

FAO: Digital innovation key to feeding 9.6 billion by 2050

In a world with 9.6 billion people to feed by 2050, where food production must increase by 70 per cent to cover these needs, innovation will play a critical role in the transformation of the food and agriculture sector to address these new challenges and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, according to the UN Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

FAO says an innovative use of digital technologies will strongly contribute to improving livelihoods of farmers, increase nutrition and food security, and reduce poverty.  It will also provide solutions to better adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture, improving society’s productivity and ensuring that, by targeting the most vulnerable, ‘no one is left behind’.  More...  |  Related: Realising the potential of digitalisation to improve the agrifood system  |  Source & Photo:  FAO

WTO: Global agriculture trade resilient during COVID-19

Global agricultural trade has fared better than other sectors during COVID-19, with trade in this sector even increasing in March and April 2020 – by 3.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively – compared to the same period in 2019, according to a new WTO report.

Nuffield Scholarships have been running for 70 years. Scholars are selected annually on merit as people who are committed and passionate about farming or fishing, are at the leading edge of technology uptake, and are potential future leaders in the industry.

In addition, the WTO says while world food stocks and production levels for the most widely consumed staples – rice, wheat and maize – are at or near all-time highs, COVID-19’s impact on jobs and incomes has increased the number of hungry people worldwide.

The paper warns that countries are still fighting the pandemic, and its repercussions for food supply chains are still unfolding.  While there is currently no reason why the ongoing health crisis should turn into a food crisis, disruptions to food supply chains constitute a risk, with governments’ trade policy choices likely to determine how the situation evolves.  More...  Source:  WTO  |  Photo:  Port of Hamburg / UNEP

WTO: How COVID-19-related restrictions on cross-border mobility are affecting global trade

A new information note published by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) this week highlights how trade in goods and services has been affected by temporary border closures and travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WTO says international trade and investment has always relied on the cross-border mobility of individuals. Transporting goods across borders involves humans, and will do so for the foreseeable future, despite important technological advances.  In addition, face-to-face contact continues to play a critical role in addressing some of the information and transaction costs involved in trading goods internationally.

With the objective of containing the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have imposed temporary travel or immigration restrictions, which have severely restricted the cross-border movement of individuals. While these mobility-related measures are not motivated by trade considerations, but by public health reasons, the WTO says they have a significant impact on trade. Perhaps paradoxically, this has brought into sharper focus the role of international mobility in international trade..  More...  Source & Photo:  WTO