Home > New Rabobank report: Global food security and strong trade links key to future competitiveness of Australian agriculture

New Rabobank report: Global food security and strong trade links key to future competitiveness of Australian agriculture

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article image Rabobank analyst Tracey Allen

Specialist food and agribusiness bank Rabobank has identified the world’s increasing focus on food security and safety along with Australia’s strong trade links with major importing markets among the key factors supporting the international competitiveness of Australia’s agricultural sector in 2013.

According to the newly released industry report, Agriculture in Focus 2013, which examines the outlook for Australian and New Zealand agriculture, Rabobank has identified key opportunities and challenges for the competitiveness of Australian agricultural commodities in the year ahead.

Though global supply and demand fundamentals indicate an increased reliance on exportable supplies from Australia in 2013, which should help bolster local prices, largely off-setting the currency drag, the report also cautions that maintaining competitiveness is vital to take full advantage of the opportunities.

In terms of the opportunity presented by the global need to provide food security, particularly in developing Asian economies, Australia is well placed to increase the volume of agricultural exports into the Asian region due to its competitive advantages, including superior product quality, developed trade linkages and geographic proximity.

The issues of food security and food safety provide enormous opportunities for the agricultural sectors in Australia and New Zealand.

Rabobank analyst Tracey Allen notes that the Australian agribusiness sector is expected to play a major role as a reliable supplier of high quality, safe food over the next decade; however it is not the only country eyeing the opportunities presented by the increasing food demand from a rising middle class in Asia. Maintaining competitiveness is therefore, vital to take full advantage of the opportunities.

Many trading partners are also seeking the assurance of high quality imported food and agricultural products, which can be met by Australia where stringent food quality and safety frameworks are already in place.

Other key issues facing the agricultural sector in 2013 identified by the Rabobank report include the strong Australian dollar, increasing regulatory pressures and sector employment.

The full report is available on the Rabobank website.

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