by Professor Ross Kingwell, AEGIC Chief EconomistIn a wealthy nation like Australia, it’s easy to lose sight of the crucial importance of the cost of food, including the cost of bread and cereals,...
Expert grains industry analysis and commentary from AEGIC’s Economics and Market Insight Team on a range of big-picture topics that affect Australia’s export grains sector.
Consumers in different countries pay different relative prices for bread and cereals, and grain flows and market prospects are affected.
There is an adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It could be just as true to say that “a daily handful of oats keeps the doctor away” because oats bestow an impressive array of health benefits.
Upholding its supply reputation for safe and healthy grains, Australia could help South East Asian governments combat their emerging dietary problems.
Proposing valid, long term grain consumption scenarios – as required by players in the Australian grains industry – requires a different approach and tools to short-term forecasts, some of which are slightly fuzzy and challenging for us data driven analysts.
Australia continues to increase its production and export of wheat; Australia’s principal grain. However, growth rates in the global export of other grains outstrip that of wheat. This is causing the pie of international traded grains to grow, with Australian wheat’s share of that pie gradually shrinking; even though wheat production in Australia remains profitable.
Australia’s climate remains highly variable, challenging agricultural production and its related sectors. Yet despite Australia being a global leader in volatility of agricultural production, farmers and scientists are consistently delivering improvements to ensure farming remains profitable.
Loss of a major grain market like China’s barley market can trigger calls for greater market diversification and more niche markets. However, developing niche markets has pros and cons. Developing niche markets usually requires careful effort.
Key message: and development, governments often encourage local value-adding opportunities based on feed grains. One outcome is more affordable meat.
Australia could make healthcare savings of more than $1.4 billion annually in the prevention of heart disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes, simply by swapping just three serves a day of refined grain foods to whole grains.
Increases in grain production are mostly underpinned by continuous improvement. The cumulative impact of continuous improvement generates significant additional wealth.
Australian grain farmers can count themselves fortunate. The economic and climatic conditions in a 2020 world affected by COVID, as luck may have it, have actually favoured Australian grain farmers. Yet again, Australian grain farmers can say they live in the Lucky Country.
A huge spatial change in the global distribution of middle class incomes is underway. By 2030 five countries will be the source of over half of the world’s middle class. Four of those countries are geographically close to Australia; and its grain producers.
Structural change in the size and composition of countries’ populations offers further grain export market opportunities for Australia
In Part One of this two-part series I explained some of the key factors underpinning Saudi Arabia’s long history of using barley for animal feed. Historically speaking, Australian barley has long dominated this market, however, due to a number of reasons the status-quo has recently been upended, effectively ending Australia’s dominance of the Saudi market for barley.
The primary driver behind Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest global importer of feed barley, and importantly, as a key historical market for Australian barley exports, has been the Kingdom’s Bedouin tribes, who have long had a passion for barley as an animal feed.
The impacts of COVID-19 are affecting patterns of eating in Asian households, dampening demand for feed grains whilst maintaining demand for most food grains.
Because Australian farmers mostly grow and export wheat sold mostly as a food grain rather than a feed grain, they are less affected by COVID-related global dietary change than grain producers in many competitor countries who mostly sell feed grains.
When you start citing a paper first published in 1941 and tell your colleagues why that paper still has relevance today, then don’t take umbrage if your colleagues start saying: Kingwell, you’re really showing your age!
In October 2019 the USDA released its latest update of agricultural productivity performance for over 175 countries.
COVID-19 Note - In most countries, Australia included, the focus of many conversations and actions is how best to manage the spread of COVID-19 infections. However, rather than add to the media...
by Professor Ross Kingwell - AEGIC Chief Economist. Key message: The severe 2018/19 drought in eastern Australia forced NSW, Qld and Vic to import over 3 mmt of grain, mostly from WA. Eastern...
by Professor Ross Kingwell - AEGIC Chief Economist. Key points: In a drying and warming climate across most grain-growing regions of Australia, wheat yields continue to increase. The best endeavours...
by Professor Ross Kingwell - AEGIC Chief Economist. Climate change is projected to have a range of impacts on global crop production. Australian grain production faces the challenge of adverse...
by Professor Ross Kingwell - AEGIC Chief Economist. Although a return to business-as-usual conditions in Australia’s grains industry is possible towards 2030, the industry should also consider the...
by Professor Ross Kingwell - AEGIC Chief Economist. It is attractive, but unfortunately wrong, to think that although less grain is now exported to Indonesia, they nonetheless still benefit...
Grain Expectations - Volume 1: You open the door into your favourite bookshop and see the first instalment of a series you’ve been waiting for. You hand over a $50 note (for the hard cover edition...