Flooding in Queensland has led to the closure of several ports, delaying key agricultural exports including 140,000 tonnes of grain due to be shipped from Brisbane port in January.
With a sugar ship also waiting offshore at Bundaberg, unable to load due to the closure of the port there, agricultural economist Jeff Bennett advises that exporters will need to maintain strong communication with overseas buyers in the coming weeks.
"The ability of Australia to satisfy our international buyers, depends on not just price, it also depends on the quality of the product we're supplying and the promptness by which we can put these products into the hands of our buyers,” he notes.
Canegrowers Australia has reported that at least a quarter of the sugar crop, valued at two billion dollars, has been lost.
A downgrading of cotton crops by $275 million is also expected, although Queensland Cotton General Manager Bob Dall’Alba remarks that “we remain optimistic it will translate to more water, and, hopefully a string of good years ahead to balance it all out.”
At least 200,000 tonnes of wheat and barley, and 300,000 tonnes of sorghum have also been lost as a result of the floods.