Food & Agribusiness Talking Points 21-07-2016


In today’s Talking Points: Report released by the Productivity Commission calls for relaxing regulation on foreign investment in agricultural land; Bindaree Beef purchase deal is stalled by delays in the Foreign Investment Review Board Process; Investment in livestock supply chains grows despite general slowdown in China trade; Andrew Robb takes on post-politics role at Moelis & Co

Report calls for relaxing regulation on foreign investment in agricultural land

The Productivity Commission’s draft report into regulation of Australian agriculture, released yesterday, calls for strict new thresholds on foreign investment in agricultural land to be wound as part of its recommendations to relieve farmers of excessive regulatory burden.  Foreign investment thresholds were lowered from $252 million to $15 million for agricultural land and $55 million for agribusinesses last year, a policy championed by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.  Commissioner Paul Lindwall explains the report finds that tightening these thresholds “lacks sound policy justification” and were not in the public interest.

Source: Weekly Times Now

Bindaree Beef purchase in danger of collapse

The sale of a 45% stake in Australia’s fourth largest beef processor to Chinese pork processor and meat retailer Shandong Delisi Food has been delayed as rising cattle prices have reduced the profitability of the company leading to further discussions over price.  The deal, announced in October last year and approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board, was to be the first large investment deal under the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.  The June 30 deadline for the agreement has been extended to July 31.

Source: The Australian 

Investment in livestock supply chain grows despite slowing trade with China

Since Australia and China signed an agreement on the live cattle export protocol in September last year, live export companies have made substantial investment in feedlots, abattoirs and shipping capacity despite a slowdown in live cattle exports due to short supply and rising prices.  Exporters expect the market to grow over the next 12 months as exporters work through the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) audits on the completed infrastructure.  Once it develops, the Chinese market is expected to change the face of the live cattle trade, providing flexibility in accommodating cattle availability and improving shipping efficiencies.

Source: Farm Weekly

Andrew Robb takes on China advisory role at Moelis & Co

Former trade minister and National Farmers Federation (NFF) chief Andrew Robb has joined investment bank Moelis & Company to focus on deals with China.  As trade minister, Robb was responsible for concluding free trade deals with China, Japan and South Korea and worked to promote Chinese investment in Australia.  Robb was an early advocate of Australia joining the Chinese led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and strong supporter of Beijing taking a greater role in regional affairs. At Moelis and Co, Robb will advise Chinese companies looking to enter the Australian market.

Source: AFR