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Beyond China: Optimism grows as Australian farmers look to new markets

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Beyond China: Optimism grows as Australian farmers look to new markets

Farmers who fell sufferer to the multi-billion-buck China-Australia alternate spat are seeing indicators for optimism as they uncover new customers for their salvage.

Key functions:

  • Farmers caught out in Australia’s alternate dispute with China are discovering new markets for their salvage
  • The cost of tariffs and the unofficial alternate bans is unclear
  • Cotton, barley diversify, lobster exporters aloof face an unsure future

Barley growers stutter they are getting factual costs from markets in the Center East and Asia, while wool, wheat and dairy are largely unaffected by the alternate bans and, despite impacts on some abattoirs, beef gross sales to China stay excessive.

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Cotton growers are moreover making some inroads in markets together with Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh and the wine industry has been active to in discovering new markets.

However the lobster industry has struggled to hold the gap caused by the lack of the China market.

Caution with comments on China

The Department of Agriculture will no longer stutter what the label to farmers has been of better tariffs and unofficial customs bans accurate by diagram of a vary of commodities, together with barley, beef, wine and cotton.

“China has no longer imposed sanctions on Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry merchandise,” a spokesman said.

It’s miles moreover careful about how it refers to the row:

“Australian agricultural, fisheries and forestry exports confronted a series of challenges, together with drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and disruptions to traditional alternate flows for some commodities into the China market.”

The Nationwide Farmers’ Federation has speculated farmers might possibly possibly well also lose extra than $35 billion over the next decade due to the alternate fallout, even though it’s unclear how the foyer community arrived at the resolve.

Indicators of recovery for barley exports

Eight months after China offered hefty tariffs on barley, Australia’s largest grain handler, CBH Neighborhood, says growers are being paid identical costs to when its most precious customer was purchasing.

“For the Australian barley industry, yes it has been a tough 2020, but we’re completely convalescing here and costs possess recovered to basically the identical stages as pre the anti-dumping tariffs,” CBH Neighborhood chief advertising and purchasing and selling officer Jason Craig said.

On the road back

Jason Craig from CBH Grain hopes a trial to send barley from WA to Mexico will advantage hold the void left by China.

Mr Craig estimated a bumper 13 million tonnes of barley had been harvested accurate by diagram of Australia this summer.

He said solid demand from feed markets in the Center East and Asia and an Australian-first trial to promote premium malting barley to brewers in Mexico had helped to change lost alternate to China.

“Currently or no longer it’s one shipment of 35,000 tonnes that’s price extra than $10 million, so or no longer it’s a wanted trial,” he said.

Pork aloof selling into China

Australia continues to promote a ramification of farm salvage into China.

Exports together with, wool, wheat and dairy are to this level largely unaffected by the alternate spat and, despite some abattoirs being restricted, gross sales of beef to China stay excessive.

In 2020, six Australian abattoirs were suspended from the alternate over labelling disorders and claims of meat contamination.

A extra two meat plant life in Victoria are moreover ready to resume selling beef and lamb to China after personnel were contaminated with COVID-19, but costs for Australian cattle are at file highs.

Australia’s recovery from drought has seen the label of cattle waft to file stages, and Mr Solid said, “discovering a rental for beef no longer going to China is no longer a first-rate state”.

China was Australia’s third most precious market for beef last yr.

“We despatched them 197,000 tonnes of beef, in explain that was the 2d largest yr by rather loads that now we possess despatched to China and they were finest number three by about 25,000 tonnes no longer up to the US,” Mr Solid said.

Cotton spreads chance, returns aloof excessive

Australia's cotton industry has diversified since China stopped buying

“It be no longer all doom and gloom” says cotton analyst Pete Johnson about China’s exit from the Australian market.

Cotton growers are moreover expected to salvage excessive returns for their salvage in 2021, as the industry expands into markets accurate by diagram of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.

Australian growers and shippers dispute Chinese spinning mills were told last October to stop purchasing Australian grown cotton, and the billion-buck a yr alternate for dash stopped.

Toowoomba-based cotton trader and industry analyst Pete Johnson estimated growers would lose a $10-$20 a bale premium with out China in the market, but that returns to growers this yr were expected to be “historically excessive”.

“Would we take the Chinese were there to want our cotton? Fully, but [we are] spreading our chance into a vary of alternative markets at some stage in the subcontinent and Asia,” Mr Johnson said.

“Spreading that chance is in the slay no longer a ghastly thing for the industry.

Winemakers look to new markets

In the 2 months since China offered tariffs on Australian wine, the associated price of exports fell by $250 million when when compared to the identical time last yr.

The shortcoming of this type of profitable market is disappointing for New South Wales winemaker Bruce Tyrrell, who spent necessary of last yr looking for new customers.

“They save no longer seem to be going to be massive, but they’re factual markets — filthy rich countries constructing their level of sophistication, so as that happens, wine ingesting goes with it,” he said.

The Australian wine industry will moreover look to other Asian countries, into parts of Africa and the US.

Mr Tyrrell said 60 per cent of Australian wine is exported, and while it is also good to assume the domestic market might possibly possibly well also want up a pair of of the loss, it was unlikely.

Path to recovery no longer dash for lobster industry

For the Australian seafood industry, which despatched virtually 95 per cent of rock lobster exports to China, the market is extra difficult to change.

Louise Hart, who owns a family fishing alternate on Tasmania’s West Coast, says she’s been working at a loss since China stopped purchasing up last November.

“We’re no longer pinning our hopes on China coming again the least bit — no,” Ms Hart said.

Lessons to learn

Louise Hart hopes other exporters will be taught from her industry’s experience purchasing and selling virtually completely with China.(Provided:)

Ms Hart is unsure about her industry’s future when the new yr quote begins next month.

“We create no longer know if we exit fishing. Are the buyers going to be in a situation to promote them at any label the least bit, or are they accurate going to sit in their freezers or their tanks. We in fact create no longer know,” Ms Hart said.

Executive looks to EU, UK

Change Minister Dan Tehan said he hoped new alternate agreements with the UK and EU, expected to be established this yr, would advantage exporters now no longer purchasing and selling into China.

“What those free alternate agreements will stop is provide us with salvage accurate of entry to to one other 500 million buyers at more reasonably priced rates for our exporters,” Mr Tehan said.

See this story on ABC TV’s Landline at 12: 30pm on Sunday, or on iview.

Source:
Beyond China: Optimism grows as Australian farmers look to new markets

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