Global trade fears grow

Tasmanian Country - - THE STOCK REPORT -

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.

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