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21 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.

Buy local message to support WA businesses

Western Australians are reminded to ‘buy local’ and support the State’s important agriculture, fisheries, food and beverage industries – a message even more important as businesses reset from the impacts of COVID-19.

The next stage of the State Government’s Good Choice, WA, WA marketing campaign delivered through the Buy West Eat Best (BWEB) program, has been brought forward to support businesses and champion the ‘buy local’ message.

The awareness campaign, first introduced to consumers in 2017, is a call to action to encourage shoppers to think local, buy local and dine out locally.

DPIRD's Food Industry Development manager Deborah Pett said consumers will once again be hearing and seeing the Good Choice, WA message in supermarkets, online and across television and radio.

“The campaign provides a platform to celebrate the fresh, seasonal world-class food being produced across Western Australia,” Ms Pett said.

“This is particularly important as consumers are placing increased importance on knowing where their food is originating from.

“Good Choice, WA is helping to get people thinking again about buying local to support our farmers, food and beverage producers and processors as part of the recovery from COVID-19 impacts.”  More...  Source:  DPIRD  |  Photo:  BWEB

Air freight scheme helping WA agrifood exports recover

Agricultural and fisheries exports from WA have started to pick up again following sharp declines in February, thanks in part to the Federal Government’s International Air Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM).

High value agricultural and fisheries air freight exports dropped almost 70 per cent in February 2020 (by value) when compared with a year earlier. However some of these losses had been clawed back by June.

The figures show that when IFAM kicked in with flights from Perth earlier this year, WA's agrifood and fisheries exports by air steadily increased. However they were still down 27 per cent in June this year compared with June 2019.

During this period, the State Government also launched a number of programs to support industry, including setting up working groups to address industry-specific export needs.  

Western rock lobster exports – WA's largest air freight product – were down over 90 per cent in February this year.  However exports have slowly recovered and, by June, exports were only 24 per cent lower than June 2019.

This may continue to improve as the rock lobster season has been extended to help the industry recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Full details on the latest IFAM outbound and inbound flights are available on the IFAM website.

Exporters should speak to their freight forwarder and visit the IFAM webpage for further information on grant assistance.  If you have any questions or need more information, please email Airfreight@austrade.gov.au, or Austrade State Director WA, Jane Caforio, on jane.caforio@austrade.gov.auMore...  Source:  Jade Gould, DPIRD  / IFAM / Austrade  |  Related:  Export boost for South Australian farmers and fishers  Source:  Federal Minister for Trade  |   Photo:  WA Agrifood Export eNews

CRC Developing Northern Australian 2020 EOI funding call now open

Industry, researchers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or community sectors can submit an expression of interest (EOI) for funding from the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA). 

EOIs which directly align with or respond to one (or more) of the CRCNA's identified research priorities will be viewed more favourably.

The CRCNA’s investment in several strategic research collaborations has identified further priorities for investment in the beef, rice, broadacre cropping, forestry, aquaculture and health sectors.

EOIs which are industry-led and address issues specifically raised in CRCNA’s foundational research are being sought.

Deadline for questions about this funding call is 3 pm AWST 23 September 2020, EOIs close 3pm AWST 30 September 2020, and notification to applicants (successful and unsuccessful) will take place in January 2021.  More...  Source:  CRCNA  |  Photo:  CSIRO [Aquaculture ponds, Northern Territory]

CSIRO maps 1.7 million grain paddocks from space

Scientists at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, have solved a farming challenge using artificial intelligence to identify the boundary of every individual paddock in Australia's grain growing region from space – around 1.7 million of them.

The technology has been developed into a new product called ePaddocks, designed to save time for farmers and others in the agricultural sector when using digital services for farm analytics and insights.

Currently, farm management software requires users to manually draw paddock boundaries for every service they use, like satellite-assisted fertiliser application or crop growth monitoring, and they may have to update this information every growing season.

Unlike property boundaries, which are recorded in local council or title records, paddock boundaries aren't historically recorded anywhere.

ePaddocks can identify paddock boundaries from season to season but doesn't identify a particular property or landowner, or what paddock belongs to whom.

CSIRO remote sensing specialist Dr Franz Waldner said ePaddocks was highly accurate, detailed and available at the touch of a button.  More...  Source & Photo:  CSIRO  

Rabobank: Australian food and agriculture may have just passed ‘peak China’ exposure

Australian exports of food and agricultural products to China rose by eight per cent in value terms in the 2019-20 season, reaching the highest level in the history of the China-Australia trading relationship. But that could well prove to be the peak of Australian agriculture’s exposure to China, agribusiness specialist Rabobank said in commentary released this week.

Data released this month showed the biggest gains in Australian agricultural exports to China in 2019-20 were registered by beef and sheepmeat, as Chinese buyers looked to fill the hole left by African swine fever, which more than halved the Chinese sow herd in recent years and created a shortage of animal protein in the local market.

But shipments of dairy, wine, grains and oilseeds and fruit also all saw year-on-year gains, as “Australia continued to ride the wave of opportunity generated by China’s rising incomes, the 2015 China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, increasingly sophisticated e-commerce supply chains and the value consumers place on Australia’s food quality and provenance”, the bank said.

However, while there was a surge in shipments to China, the total value of Australia’s food and agriculture (F&A) exports “basically stood still in 2019-20” – with shipments down by just under two per cent.

As a result, China’s share of Australian F&A exports rose to 32 per cent for the 2019-20 period – up from 29 per cent in the prior year, and reaching the highest level in the history of the China-Australia trading relationship.  More...  Source & Graphic: Rabobank

Call for project manager for wine export growth partnership

The Western Australian wine industry's Export Growth Partnership (EGP) - a project supported by a partnership between Wines of WA and DPIRD - is seeking a project manager.  The goal of the initiative is to grow the volume and value of wine exported by WA producers through a collaborative approach to export market development.

A comprehensive project description is available online.  For further infomation contact Larry Jorgensen, Chief Executive Officer, Wines of WA, at ceo@winewa.asn.au, tel 0448 884 161.  More...  Source: WoWA  |  Photo:  DPIRD

WTO: Steep drop in trade but hint of nascent recovery

World merchandise trade registered an historic fall in the World Trade Organisation's Goods Trade Barometer, a real-time gauge of trends in global trade.

Additional indicators point to partial upticks in world trade and output in the third quarter, but the strength of any such recovery remains highly uncertain: an L-shaped, rather than V-shaped, trajectory cannot be ruled out.

Released on 19 August 2020, the current barometer reading of 84.5 is 15.5 points below the baseline value of 100 for the index and 18.6 points down from the same period last year.

This reading – the lowest on record in data going back to 2007, and on par with the nadir of the 2008-09 financial crisis – is broadly consistent with WTO statistics issued in June, which estimated an 18.5 per cent decline in merchandise trade in the second quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period last year.

The WTO says the exact extent of the fall in trade will only be confirmed later this year when official trade volume data for the period from April to June becomes available.  More...  |  Related:  WTO: The future belongs to trade agreements of varying geometries  |  Source & Photo:  WTO

FAO: Global food prices rise in July

Global food prices continued rising for the second consecutive month in July, led by vegetable oils and dairy products, according to the benchmark United Nations (UN) report.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Food Price Index averaged 94.2 points in July, a 1.2 per cent increase from June and nearly 1 per cent higher than July 2019. The FAO Food Price Index tracks international prices of the most commonly traded food commodities.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index increased 7.6 per cent since June to reach a five-month high, while the FAO Dairy Price Index rose 3.5 per cent in the month, with all products from butter and cheese to milk powders rising.

The FAO Cereal Price Index was practically unchanged from June. Wheat prices changed little amid slow trade activity.

The FAO Meat Price Index, in contrast, declined by 1.8 per cent in July and averaged 9.2 per cent below its level of July 2019.  More...  Source & Photo:  FAO