Food & Agribusiness Talking Points | 26/04/2017

In today’s talking points: Chinese Agricultural Bank Lends More to Farmers; ACCC removes barrier to collective bargaining in the sugar industry; Australian dairy – “climbing back off the canvas”; Pork consumption on the rise, but not enough 

Chinese Agricultural Bank Lends More to Farmers 

Data for the first quarter of 2017 has showed that the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) has increased its lending to farmers and rural businesses. This comes as welcome news to rural farmers and agribusiness, which are benefiting from the bank’s support of agricultural supply side structural reform. According to ABC, agriculture related loans are up by 8.9% year on year as the bank is increasing lending support to large scale and professional farming, as well as small and medium sized rural households. An increase in financial support for agricultural industry bodes well for boosting agribusiness and agricultural supply.

Read more at ChinaDaily

ACCC removes barrier to collective bargaining in the sugar industry

Farming group CANEGROWERS says its members will directly benefit from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission authorizing greater collaboration and cooperation during contract negotiations in the sugar industry. CANEGROWERS and its members waged a long campaign to secure choice and competition in sugar marketing services and have faced barrages of misleading messages from some millers and the Queensland Government about re-regulation. The ACCC decision underlines the competition benefits of guaranteeing grower choice in sugar marketing services and grower involvement as contracts are discussed. The ACCC makes it clear that under the authorisation, to take effect on 5 May 2017 if there are no applications for review, it is up to the parties in any negotiation to decide the extent to which they take up the opportunity.

Read more at Get Farming

Australian dairy – “climbing back off the canvas”

According to a recently-released report, the Australian dairy sector is expected to start “climbing back off the canvas”, with local dairy farming businesses expected to see a much-needed return to profitability in the 2017/18 season, after a difficult 18 months,
The Australian Dairy Sector – Climbing off the canvas, by agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank, says extenuating circumstances have meant the recovery in global dairy markets is yet to flow through the value chain. However, some of the forces should dissipate in 2017/18, and this will help deliver higher full-year milk prices for Australia’s dairy exporting regions. Based on Rabobank’s latest commodity price forecasts (outlined in its upcoming Global Dairy Quarterly) and assuming a currency rate of USD 0.75, the report says the global market would deliver an average commodity milk return equivalent to AUD5.30/kgMS in 2017/18.

Read more at Get Farming

Pork consumption on the rise, but not enough

Pork consumption has never been higher, but the Australian industry is still producing too many pigs. The big supermarkets say they are buying and selling more pork than ever before. While pork consumption reached new highs, recently overtaking beef for the first time, pork production is also at an 11-year high, with 386,055 tonnes carcass weight produced last year. Australia also imported 35.8 per cent more pork (primarily smallgoods) in January compared to the same month last year, and, despite exporting 10 per cent more volume, the value of exports dropped 1.6 per cent. Victorian Farmers Federation pig group president John Bourke said there were still too many pigs for processors, and as a farmer he’d “never seen it so tough”.

Read more at Weekly Times