Global trade fears grow
THE red-meat industry needs to focus even more heavily on trade as global protein production increases.
Rabobank’s Global Animal Protein Outlook for next year predicts protein production to increase in all regions of the world.
This will create increased competition between species for consumer share and between exporters for markets, according to Rabobank animal protein global strategist Justin Sherrard.
He said the increase strong production – tipped to again exceed the 10-year average – was driven by Brazil, China and the United States, all key competitors or markets for Australian red meat.
“Trade should be the topof-mind issue for global animal protein as we head into the New Year, and enhancing competitiveness is going to be critical for success,” Mr Sherrard said.
The bank said trade policy appeared “susceptible to political involvement”, with negotiations on the North American trade deal, Brexit and the USChina trade relationship all to play a big role in animal protein trade.
Australian Meat Industry Council chair Lachie Hart said while the current government was doing a great job with international trade deals, “when you open up doors you also see doors close”.
“Industry estimates we are losing potentially anywhere between $2.75 billion to $3 billion a year in market access to some of these markets through technical trade barriers,” he said.
Mr Hart pushing for said AMIC was an interdepartmental committee representing the Department of Foreign of Affairs, Department of Trade and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, as all three could help find and fix trade barriers.
He said because of Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s by-election things had slowed down.
However, Mr Hart praised the Labor Opposition’s paper on trade access and said he hoped the Coalition would come to the table and negotiate a similar approach.