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17 September 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.

Event: Understanding the current freight environment in WA

You’re invited to join the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) industry briefing webinar to hear the latest airfreight and export news on Monday 20 September 2021 from 12 pm to 1 pm (AWST).  Speakers will include Australian Government Freight Controller, Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib, and International Freight Coordinator General, Michael Byrne, who will deliver an IFAM update on supply chain issues, pricing, flight developments and routes.

You'll also hear an update on the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative (ABEI) delivered by Jay Meek, General Manager, ABEI and Client Services.  Join the discussion and ask questions on how to adapt your supply chains and better prepare your business to continue operations under the changing freight environment.

With a Western Australian industry focus, this event is essential for exporters, producers and other stakeholders using IFAM, or considering accessing it.  To register, please email freightbriefing@austrade.gov.au.

The latest IFAM outbound and inbound flights are available on the IFAM website. Exporters should speak to their freight forwarder and visit the IFAM website for further assistance.  For more information, please email Austrade at airfreight@austrade.gov.au, or DPIRD's International Airfreight Coordinator, Terry Burnage, at terry.burnage@dpird.wa.gov.au.  Source:  IFAM / DPIRD  |  Photo:  IFAM

Registration opens for webinar introduction to UK trade

Austrade London is holding an introductory webinar regarding first entry into the United Kingdom (UK) market, and Western Australian agrifood exporters are encouraged to attend.

With the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement in Principle signed recently, Preparing to trade in the UK – An introduction to commercial channels, services and compliance is the second of a series of webinars targeted towards Australian exporters with an interest in the UK market.  The webinar – taking place from 3 pm to 4.30 pm AWST on Wednesday 29 September 2021 – will discuss trends in UK markets, channels and growth, compliance requirements, steps to sustainability, and Australian success stories.

Attendance is free, but registration must be made via the Austrade website.  For more information, contact Alberto Oliva Macas in London at alberto.oliva@austrade.gov.auSource:  Austrade  |  Photo:  Lucas Davies / Unsplash

WA strawberry grower adapting to new trade scenario in wake of COVID

When global air freight capacity crashed in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, some of Australia’s most successful exporters were left with few options to get their goods to international customers.

For Ti Produce, that meant the potential loss of customers in South East Asia, the Middle East and New Zealand.  The Bullsbrook, Western Australia-based company had traditionally exported more than half its annual crop.

Like many exporters of premium, perishable goods, Ti Produce turned to Austrade’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM).  The Australian Government set up the $290.6 million initiative as a temporary emergency response to pandemic disruptions to air freight which threatened exports to established markets and the import of critical goods.

“Without IFAM there was a real possibility we would not have been able to continue to be a reliable supplier to our overseas customers,” Ti Produce’s Marketing Director, Jamie Michael, said.  “I have to commend the way the IFAM team got this program up and running so well and so quickly. It’s refreshing to see how effectively it has been done."  More...  Source:  IFAM / Austrade  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Aquaculture now largest sector of seafood industry

Australia’s aquaculture sector continues on a trajectory of steady growth, but the entire industry has experienced disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest edition of Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES).  According to ABARES' Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville, Australia’s aquaculture sector has been steadily increasing in both value and share of gross value of fisheries production (GVP).

“The GVP of the Australian aquaculture sector grew 10% in 2019−20,” Dr Greenville said.  “While total Australian fishery and aquaculture GVP in 2019–20 decreased slightly by 2% to $3.15 billion, higher aquaculture GVP offset lower GVP in the wild-catch sector.  Last year aquaculture made up just over half of the total GVP share of the Australian fisheries and aquaculture industry, which is up from 43 per cent in 2015–16 and 34 per cent in 2005–06."

Dr Greenville said much of this has been reflected in Tasmania’s growing salmon aquaculture industry, which is now worth 28 per cent of national fisheries and aquaculture GVP.  “That said, market disruption during COVID-19 has impacted the decrease in wild-catch production, mostly due to decreased exports of rock lobster and abalone, with fishery product exports down 8% to $1.41 billion in 2019–20," he said.  Source:  ABARES  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Australian agriculture looks to record-busting year

The Australian agricultural sector is looking at another record-breaking year, with the gross value of production forecast to reach $73 billion in 2021-22.  Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES) Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville said if the forecast in the Agricultural Commodities: September Quarter report proves to be accurate, then it will be the first time the agriculture sector has been valued at over $70 billion.

“The forecast for next year is due to a combination of factors, all tumbling neatly into place,” Dr Greenville explained.  “The value of crop production is set to rise by 7% to $39.5 billion because of another near-record winter crop harvest, combined with strong global prices for grain, sugar and cotton.

He said that while there are risks related to mice, labour availability and continued uncertainties due to COVID-19, ABARES is expecting national production to remain robust.  The value of livestock production is also tipped to rise to $33.5 billion, an increase of 8%.  Australia has had a solid cropping year across the wheat-sheep belt, so another robust harvest is likely.

Dr Greenville said the international market is also tipped in our favour, as poor harvests in North America and Europe are pushing up the price of grain.  “Strong domestic production and a favourable global market are set to see exports also hit a record of close to $55 billion in 2021-22," he said.  Source:  ABARES  |  Related: Farmers on track for record-breaking season easily surpassing $70 billion of produce  Source:  ABC News  |  Photo:  DPIRD

UN: Global economy projected to show fastest growth in 50 years

The global economy is expected to bounce back this year with growth of 5.3%, the fastest in nearly five decades, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). 

In its new report released this week, the agency said that the rebound was highly uneven along regional, sectoral and income lines.  During 2022, UNCTAD expects global growth to slow to 3.6%, leaving world income levels trailing some 3.7% below the pre-pandemic trend line. It projects that by 2025 developing countries will be US$12 trillion poorer due to COVID-19.  

The report says the pandemic has exposed just how unprepared countries, including the wealthiest, are for unexpected shocks.  UNCTAD notes that the biggest risk for the global economy is that “a rebound in the North will divert attention from long-needed reforms without which developing countries will remain in a weak and vulnerable position.”  Source:  UN News  |  Photo:  Freddie Collins / Unsplash