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9 October 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.

$317 million in additional funding for IFAM

The Australian Government has announced it is committing an additional $317.1 million in funding for the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM).  With $95 million to directly address upcoming seasonal demand and $222.1 million to extend IFAM to the middle of 2021, the funding injection will help keep international supply chains open.

IFAM assists businesses to supply established international customers, supports export-generated jobs, and provides support for Australia to import items of national importance like critical medicines.

This funding is in addition to the $241.9 million announced in July and $110 million announced in April to establish IFAM under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund, which supports regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

IFAM continues to be a targeted, temporary emergency measure and businesses need to use the next six months to adjust to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international air transport. This includes developing, where possible, alternative transport pathways, packaging, product and distribution options which take into account enduring higher airfreight costs.

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 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...  |  Related:  Austrade webinar recording: Disrupted supply chains and changing consumer behaviour  |  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  Qantas

Grains research investment to capture slice of rising Asian flour market

A $2 million Western Australian Government investment will cultivate new pathways to supply innovative oats, whole grain and soft wheat food products to customers in nearby Asia, helping to diversify markets for local farmers.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the investment at a Grain Industry Association of Western Australia 'Diversifying and Value Adding Western Australian Grain' forum in Perth this week.

The funds will support three research projects led by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) to help commercialise new oat rice and noodle products, develop a package to supply whole grain wheat, and explore supply chains for cake and biscuit manufacturing.

The projects aim to capture a share of rapidly growing demand for wheat and oat products in South East Asia and China, capitalising on WA's convenient proximity and enviable reputation as a reliable supplier of safe, premium quality grain. Targeting just 10 per cent of these combined wheat markets alone, represents a two million metric tonne trade opportunity for WA's grains industry, worth an estimated $600 million per annum.

Minister MacTiernan said that with market intelligence pointing to rising demand from our Asian neighbours for wheat and oat products, now is the time to get in on the ground floor and establish WA as a preferred supplier in this very competitive global market.

DPIRD's Executive Director of Agribusiness, Food and Trade, Liam O'Connell, said this week's grain forum highlighted the need to be agile, flexible and innovative moving forward to remain export competitive.

"Despite COVID's impact on international trade, WA's grain sector is showing great resilience and exports are performing well," he said.

"With the support of AEGIC, our premium quality grains will continue to be in great demand globally, particularly in our region, home to around 30 per cent of the world's population."  More...  Source:  WA Minister for Agriculture & Food / DPIRD  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Webinar: Australia-EU FTA – opportunities for Australia

Australia is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) that will drive increased investment, Australian exports in goods and services, economic growth and job creation.

Join Austrade's digital seminar on Wednesday 14 October 2020 at 1pm AWST and hear from Australia’s Ambassador to the EU, Australia’s EU FTA Chief Negotiator and Austrade’s General Manager Europe as they discuss the progress of the agreement and the benefits for Australian business.  Hear also from Australian exporters as they share their insights on navigating business opportunities across the EU.

Visit the Free Trade Agreements seminars page to learn more about the series, listen to past recordings and view upcoming webinars.  More...  Source:  Austrade / DFAT  |  Photo:  European Parliament

Austrade: Middle East and Africa update for Australian exporters

In Kuwait the permitted shelf-life for chilled vacuum-packed beef – which had been increased from 90 to 120 days – will revert to 90 days, Austrade reports in its latest market insight.  This is due to meat from other markets (mainly Brazil) causing food health and safety issues.  The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and Austrade are attempting to seek an exemption from the Kuwaiti Authorities for Australian meats to maintain the 120 day shelf-life standard.

In Morocco, Austrade says demand for top-quality beef is rising – despite high local tariffs. A local importer/customer is about to launch an online delivery platform of high-end beef to final consumers, the first of this kind in the market. It will also supply top-end food service facilities in the country. Market research suggests the emergence of an affluent market segment that is willing to pay for Australian Angus and Wagyu. Currently, meat tariffs can vary from 10 per cent on beef patties to 200 per cent on prime cuts.  More... Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  Zoltan Tasi / Unspash [Marrakesh, Morocco]

Rock oyster research moves to the Pilbara

Western Australian aquaculture research to kickstart the tropical rock oyster industry has moved into its next phase - testing the performance of a new rock oyster species in regional waters off the Pilbara coast.

DPIRD is leading research in WA, as part of a Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia three-year project to develop the tropical rock oyster industry in WA and the Northern Territory.

The new Black Lip Rock Oysters, successfully bred by DPIRD researchers at the Hillarys marine shellfish hatchery, this week travelled to their new homes.

The oyster spat has been moved to two trial sites in the Pilbara - West Lewis Island and Cossack - both managed by project industry partner Maxima.

The oysters will be monitored by DPIRD researchers to see how they grow into a ready to eat oyster and to test the farm sites and systems.  More...  Source:  DPIRD  |  Photo:  Maxima [Oyster spat]

WTO: Asia trade less affected by COVID than other regions

The trade decline in Asia of 4.5 per cent for exports and 4.4 per cent for imports in 2020 will be smaller than in other regions, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) reported this week.  The steepest declines were in Europe and North America, where exports fell 24.5 per cent and 21.8 per cent, respectively.  During the same period imports were down 19.3 per cent in Europe and 14.5 per cent in North America.

The WTO says world trade shows signs of bouncing back from a deep, COVID-19 induced slump, but WTO economists caution that any recovery could be disrupted by the ongoing pandemic effects. It now forecasts a 9.2 per cent decline in the volume of world merchandise trade for 2020, followed by a 7.2 per cent rise in 2021.

Although trade decline during COVID-19 is similar in magnitude to the global financial crisis of 2008-09, the economic context is very different, the WTO says. The volume of world merchandise trade is only expected to decline around twice as much as world GDP at market exchange rates, rather than six times as much during the 2009 collapse.  More...  Source:  WTO  |  Related:  The Long Ascent: confronting COVID-19 and building a more resilient economy  Source:  IMF / LSE  |  Photo:  Andreas Brücker / Unsplash

WTO: Leveraging newest technologies during COVID

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been moves to facilitate the border clearance of goods, with automated procedures that reduce the need for personal contact, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has said.

Speaking at a “Geneva Trade Week” event at the Graduate Institute last Friday, WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said during the pandemic some WTO members were accepting electronic veterinary and phytosanitary certificates, rather than the standard physical certificates. If kept in place, such measures could lower the cost of crossing borders.

He also said COVID-19 has exacerbated or accelerated a number of different processes, such as more: 

•  digital cross border trade
•  diversification in supply chain sourcing
•  automation of production and supply chain steps
•  flexible production processes. 

More...  Source & Photo: WTO