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18 February 2022

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.

Please note that this newsletter will now be published on Tuesdays, with the next edition on Tuesday 1 March 2022.  

Great Southern Tourism and Trade Partnership launched

A new strategic partnership has been launched to help grow exports, trade and tourism in Western Australia's Great Southern.

The Great Southern Tourism and Trade Partnership is a new initiative developed between the Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC), Austrade and Australia's South West.

Agricultural, food and beverage exports will also gain additional resources through an agreement between Austrade, GSDC and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The Great Southern Tourism and Trade Partnership and the expansion of the WA TradeStart Partnership will strengthen the value and build the profile of the Great Southern region, building on key strengths in agrifoods and tourism.

Regional agrifood and beverage businesses will receive support to take their offerings to a global market, meeting the existing demand in major export markets for high-quality, safe and traceable premium products.  More...  Source:  WA Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food  |  Photo:  Steve Pontin, GSDC [(L-R): Jane Caforio, Austrade;  Minister Alannah MacTiernan; Susan Hall, DPIRD; Glen Thompson, GSDC; Catrin Allsop, Chief Executive Officer, Australia's South West; Natasha Monks Chief Executive Officer, GSDC, at the recent launch of the partnership.]

Innovative new infrastructure boosting Albany’s shellfish aquaculture

A sea-based floating nursery, called a FLUPSY, has been installed in Albany's Oyster Harbour to help boost shellfish aquaculture production in the region.

The FLUPSY is a FLoating UPweller SYstem where shellfish seed can grow inside mesh pots. A pump generates the upward current of sea water through the mesh, so the seed can feed on food particles and phytoplankton floating in the water.

The Western Australian Government provided $125,000 through the WA Recovery Plan to install two FLUPSYs, the first in Albany and a second later this year in the Perth metropolitan area that will be a saucer scallop nursery.

Because the food oyster seed consume occurs naturally in seawater, the FLUPSY eliminates the need for farmers to use supplementary food. FLUPSYs, when located and operated correctly, can provide a sustainable and efficient nursery environment for shellfish.

The system built by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is one of the first large scale FLUPSYs in Australia. Its production capacity is estimated at 5 to10 million 5 mm rock oyster seed per year, and trials are under way to refine operational processes in Albany in collaboration with Harvest Road Oceans.  More...  Source:  WA Minister for Fisheries  |  Photo:  DPIRD [(L-R) Jonathan Bilton - Albany Shellfish Hatchery, Scott Bennett - DPIRD and Anthony Aris - Harvest Road Oceans.]

Access Asia grants to support local SMEs and boost WA economy

Western Australian small and medium-size business enterprises (SMEs) and business associations looking to enter key Asian markets are encouraged to apply for the latest round of the Access Asia Business Grants program.

In this round of the program, 20 grants worth up to $25,000 are available which support WA businesses and organisations to grow trade with key Asian markets. The new round focuses on helping businesses build and maintain competitiveness in Asian markets to contribute to the WA economy.

Businesses must be working in one of the priority sectors identified in Diversify WA – the WA Government's economic development framework. Priority sectors include energy, tourism, events and creative industries, international education, defence industries, mining and mining equipment, technology and services, space industries, health and medical life sciences, and primary industries.

Expressions of interest for the new round of Access Asia Business Grants opened on 17 February and close on 4 March.  More...  Source:  WA Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade  |  Photo:  Braden Jarvis / Unsplash [Bangkok]

Establishing a presence in the UK – what you need to know

Austrade and the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Trade (DIT) invite you to join this webinar to find out why expanding into the UK is beneficial for your Australian export business.

DIT’s Inward Investment specialists will discuss the benefits and essential information needed to set up locally and take your UK business relationships to the next level.

If you are an aspiring or existing exporter to the UK, this session on Thursday 24 February at 2 pm AWST will help you take a significant step closer to your UK clients and partners.  More...  Source and Image:  Austrade

WA wool exports rebound

In 2021 WA exported 64.3 million kilograms (kg) of wool, up 34% year-on-year from 47.8 million kg in 2020.  At the same time there was a 45% increase in the value of wool exported from WA as the price recovered from the 2020 COVID-19 market disruption.  The total value of WA wool exports in 2021 totalled $638.1 million and accounted for 21% of the value of national wool exports.

China is WA’s largest wool market accounting for 92% of the quantity of wool exported or 58.7 million kg in 2021.  During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, demand for wool plummeted due to lockdowns in major wool markets such as China, the United States (US) and European Union (EU), resulting in a price crash.

Approximately half of the wool imported by China is re-exported after processing to major markets, such as the US and EU, so lockdowns in these regions had a flow on effect to WA wool exports to China.

The Australian Wool Exchange benchmark Western Market Indicator (WMI) in January 2022 averaged 1443 cents/kg compared to 1244 in January 2021, and 1685 in January 2020 (pre-pandemic), illustrating the recovery experienced over the last 12 months.  Source:  Kate Pritchett / DPIRD  |  Photo:  iStock

Rabobank: Return-to-office suit sale recovery set to support wool sector in 2022

Demand and prices for fine and mid-micron wool are forecast to pick up as workers return to offices around the world, according to a report by agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank.

In the bank’s recently-released Agribusiness Outlook 2022, report co-author, Rabobank agricultural analyst Dennis Voznesenski said while consumer confidence is waning in the world’s two largest markets for wool, the United States (US) and China, there are positive factors that will push prices higher.

“First, US retail apparel sales are continuing to grow, with December data showing an 18% rise versus pre-pandemic levels. Second, the latest woollen suit import data for October 2021 shows a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels in France and only 26% below pre-pandemic levels in the US,” he said.

Mr Voznesenski said this reflects a return of office workers in the European Union and US, a trend expected to strengthen through 2022.  More...  Source:  Rabobank  |  Photo:  Ruthson Zimmerman / Unsplash 

Supporting a strong future for Australian aquaculture

An Australian Parliament report has said Australian aquaculture has a strong positive outlook, and unlocking the full potential of this growing industry requires barriers to growth to be identified and addressed.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources, which released its report last month, said as the world’s growing population brings increasing demand for food, aquaculture is well positioned to meet the ever-growing desire for fish.

The report says an expanding Australian aquaculture sector will help meet domestic demand for seafood, boost exports and provide thousands of additional jobs, especially in regional areas.  The Committee said innovation is a key to the expansion of output and increased domestic and global market share.

A central issue in the inquiry was the naming and labelling of seafood, and the Committee supported reforms to labelling standards, including labelling of imported seafood products in foodservice settings.  More...​  Source:  Parliament of Australia  |  Related:  SIA: ‘Strong support’ recommended for Australia’s aquaculture sector  Source:  Seafood Industry Australia  |  Photo:  DPIRD [Cone Bay]

Outlook 2022: Growing agriculture through innovation and sustainability

The annual Outlook conference hosted by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is at the intersection of debate for issues affecting Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors, across trade, climate change, labour and other interconnected influences.

The Outlook 2022 conference will explore Growing agriculture through innovation and sustainability at sessions on the national and global agricultural outlook, labour market issues, key commodities, water markets, sustainability reporting and more.

Outlook 2022 will be online, with three, one-hour sessions daily, from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 March. Register now for this free event. More...  Source and Image:  ABARES