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China predicts limited impact from ASF
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IN an interview with Re- uters, New Hope Group, owner of China’s larg- est animal feed business New Hope Liuhe, said it does not see a major impact from the African swine fever epidemic sweeping through the country’s hog herd, group chairman Liu Yonghao said on Sunday, March 3.
The company’s feed-to- meat business is benefit- ting from higher chicken prices resulting from the outbreak of disease in pigs, Liu told reporters ahead of the opening of the annual parliament meeting.
He also said he hoped the US and China would soon reach a deal on trade, with tariffs currently hurting farmers in both countries.
On March 1, US Presi- dent Donald Trump said he had asked China to imme- diately remove all tariffs on US agricultural prod- ucts because trade talks were progressing well.
Trump also delayed plans to hike tariffs on Chinese goods to 25 percent as pre-
viously scheduled.
Beijing currently im-
poses 25 percent import duty on soybeans from the US, China’s second- largest soybean supplier, with shipments making up a third of China’s total imports.
New Hope said last year it would diversify its soy- bean sourcing, buying from Brazil, Argentina, the Middle East, Russia, India and South Africa.
On its animal feed busi- ness, Liu said his company is actually benefitting from the pig disease as some farmers are now buying more feed from New Hope because they are confident the company’s feed is not contaminated with ASF.
ASF is an incurable pig disease that has been confirmed in 28 Chinese provinces and regions.
Liu called on Beijing to increase corn import quo- tas to private firms and grant the permits based on companies’ output and de- mand.
Tough choices to reach $100 billion by 2030
MAKING tough choices will be central to Australi- an agriculture’s continued success, according to AB- ARES executive director Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds’ opening address at the 2019 ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra recently.
Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds listed five key areas vital to meeting the National Farmers’ Federation’s goal of lifting the value of Australian agricultural production to $100 billion by 2030.
“We must recognise that achieving the best outcomes for agriculture, our rural communities and the national economy will require some tough choices,” Dr Hatfield- Dodds said.
“Examples include en- suring agriculture is at- tractive to workers and investors; harnessing innovation to boost per- formance; promoting on- farm resilience and risk management; persisting with water reforms and respecting and respond- ing to evolving consumer expectations.
“We should be mind- ful of the substantial and sometimes painful re- forms that underpinned the growth achieved in recent decades – and that favourable global prices account for 90 percent of past trend growth.
“Each of the five areas bring both opportunities and threats, but support the theme of enhancing the wellbeing of produc- ers, consumers, regions and the nation to increase prosperity.
“The sector is well aware of the need to at- tract workers, but actions are always going to speak louder than words in en- suring a positive experi- ence for farm workers.
“We need to continue to harness innovation.”
Priorities include reduc- ing fragmentation and improving collaboration on ‘whole of sector’ chal- lenges, greater clarity and consistency around contributions and benefit
sharing as well as achiev- ing faster adoption and commercialisation of suc- cessful research.
“Our farms must remain resilient and manage risk effectively,” Dr Hatfield- Dodds said.
“Australian farmers manage very significant variability, including vari- able climate and volatile commodity prices.
“We must persist with water reforms.
“The view that healthy industries require healthy catchments has not al- ways been visible in re- cent debate and finger pointing, which is often framed in terms of trade- offs between ‘industry’ or ‘development’ versus the ‘environment’.
“It is evident that achiev- ing the NFF aspirations for agriculture requires sustainable management of Australia’s scarce water resources.
“Respecting and respond- ing to evolving consumer expectations may well be both the greatest opportu- nity, and threat, facing Aus- tralian agriculture.”
Producers are particularly exposed where real or per- ceived poor behaviour by a few players can tarnish the reputation or market access of an entire sector.
“Assessing these risks and opportunities requires industry to understand how consumers think and feel, even when this is confronting,” Dr Hatfield- Dodds said.
“Australian agriculture has many advantages, and a track record of good per- formance, underpinned by tough choices.
“But to thrive and grow – to meet $100 billion – some difficult decisions will need to be made.”
Read the ‘Tough choices for Australian agriculture to reach $100b target’ article published in The Conversation at thecon
All ABARES Outlook 2019 presentations will be published progressively on the ABARES website at ares/outlook
Australian Pork Newspaper, March 2019 – Page 15

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