Growing Asian demand presents opportunities for Australian grain exports

Australia has a great opportunity to take advantage of significant growth in Asian demand for grains and oilseeds.

Speaking at the ABARES Outlook 2015 Conference in Canberra, ABARES Research Economist Neil Thompson said that in coming years growth in global demand for grains and oilseeds was forecast to be strongest in Asian markets.

“Competition is expected to increase over the medium to longer term, as low cost producers expand their production,” Mr Thompson said.

“The Australian grains and oilseeds industry needs to make the most of market opportunities, particularly in Asia, and seek out productivity enhancements to maintain competitiveness in world markets.

“One area where there are significant gains to be made is in improving freight productivity.

“Australian grains and oilseeds production is projected to reach just over 43 million tonnes in 2019-20.”

“World production and consumption of grains and oilseeds are expected to grow at similar rates over the medium term, with production increases concentrated in low cost producers, such as Argentina, Brazil and the Black Sea region.

“This is likely to put downward pressure on world prices, which are expected to ease in real terms towards the end of the forecast period to 2019-20.”

Other speakers at the session—sponsored by the Grains Research and Development Corporation—included David Fienberg of the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, who discussed market opportunities in Asia, and Luke Fraser of Juturna Infrastructure, who spoke about potential freight productivity gains in Australia.

Conference delegates also heard from Andrew Crane, CEO of the CBH Group, on investing in agribusiness.

This analysis was part of ABARES Outlook 2015 being held in Canberra on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 March.

Outlook is Australia’s leading forum for public and private decision-makers in agriculture, and marks its 45th annual conference this year with expert analysis of the business of agriculture.​

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