Food & Agribusiness Talking Points 11-05-2016


Food Safety regulations emphasised by top legislator
Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has sworn to crack down toughly on companies that violate food and safety regulations as well as government departments that fail to carry out their supervisory responsibilities. The speech was made by Zhang in the China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, where he reviewed the successfulness of the implemented laws. During this speech he further advocated the need to emphasize food safety in order to “strengthen the sense of safety… among the public”. The areas that will receive particular attention include quality control of livestock, and supervision of foodstuffs, with an explicit focus upon additives and pesticides being added to the foodstuffs. Click here for the full article.   

Russian Grain may soon begin exporting to China
Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev is confident that Russia will soon be able to export wheat to the Chinese market. Although Russian grain exports have not yet begun, in December 2015 a phytosanitary services contract was signed by both nations outlining the ‘protocols on phytosanitary requirements’ for wheat, soy, maize and rice. Under these protocols Russia can potentially begin exporting some of these grain products to China, yet still must contend with many restrictions written within the document. Russian agricultural and food trade with China dropped by 3.1% during 2015, however exports into China increased by 26.2%. Click here for the full article. 

Global sugar shortages mean potential overseas expansion of Australian sugar industry
According to a commodity analyst, global stocks of sugar have fallen to a four-year low due to a series of El Nino occurrences worldwide. In light of this, Georgia Twomey, a Rabobank analyst, estimates that Asian markets including China and Korea may seek to source Australian sugar production in Thailand, India and China has decreased significantly due to drought. She stressed that in order for Australia’s market share in the sugar industry to grow, customer relations will be an important factor, as well as working to ensure that market access increases. This information was delivered at an industry forum in Queensland, where some of the sugar cane growers in attendance pointed out that the efficiency of Australian production of sugar will need to be improved if the export market is to grow. Clic here for the full article.

As food prices increase, Chinese consumer inflation remains high
The Chinese Consumer Price Index (CPI) is at its highest level since July 2014 for the third consecutive month, having grown 2.3 percent in April. This steady CPI increase has been attributed largely to growing food prices in China – last month, food prices rose by 7.4 percent year on year. Despite this consistent rate of increase, HSBC predicts that food prices (particularly vegetable and pork prices) will begin to decrease slightly, meaning that the CPI for 2016 will in turn be “comfortably below the 3 percent official target.” Food prices account for roughly a third of the calculations for the CPI. Click here for full article.