Aussie grain on show at AGIC Asia

12 Mar, 2015 10:01 AM
A great opportunity to showcase the Australian grains industry

THE opportunity for the Australian grains industry to increase its share in China and North Asia due to its reputation as a quality supplier was a key theme at the Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) events in Hong Kong and Singapore this week.

In opening the Singapore event, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Phillip Green, said that focusing on Asian markets will bring great dividends.

Mr Green told the meeting that the Asian customer had enormous buying power and congratulated the Australian industry on engaging with its customers through forums such as AGIC.

He highlighted the need to understand that what the consumer wants at the supermarket checkout is changing rapidly.

Delegates at the earlier Hong Kong event heard from a number of speakers, including James Campbell from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) who said now is the time to be a quality supplier.

He spoke about the industrialisation of the food and feed processing sectors in China, which is supporting the demand for consistent supply of quality grain.

Ron Storey from Australian Crop Forecasters noted that Australian farmers were producing more tonnes from less rainfall and that this was underpinning security of supply for customers.

He also noted the Australian industry had the ability to service a more customised market and that this required better dialogue between suppliers and customers.

Executive director of the Australian Oilseeds Federation, Nick Goddard, told delegates that China was now Australia’s number one export destination for Australian canola. This position is based around Australian canola's characteristics of clean, safe, certified sustainable, segregated non-GM and reliable supply.

Mitch Morison, Injekta Field Systems' managing director, told Australian customers that the Australian supply chain understood the challenge of meeting the changing nature of customer requirements from a supply chain perspective, and that investment was occurring to deliver this.

AGIC Hong Kong conference organiser Rosemary Richards said that AGIC’s first step into the northern Asian market had been very successful, building on the expansion of the conference into South East Asia that started last year.

“AGIC Asia is a great opportunity to showcase the Australian grains industry and the feedback from customers is that they value the opportunity to hear directly from the Australian industry,” she said.

“The conference also provided a great opportunity for the Australian industry to hear from customers, which will help ensure that the Australian grains industry can continue to be a leading supplier to the Asian market and take advantage of the ever growing expansion opportunities in the Asian region.”

The AGIC Singapore conference also heard from major Australian grain marketers and handlers CBH and GrainCorp, who presented 2014-15 crop data by region.

This showed that growers were responding to end-user market signals by choosing newer wheat and barley varieties that better met market requirements.

For further information download the proceedings from the AGIC 2015 website.

Australian Grains Industry ConferenceSource:
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Jock Munro
13/03/2015 5:22:15 AM

The AGIC Annual Conference is really an annual merchant celebration of their takeover of the Australian wheat industry following the removal of the single desk by the Rudd Government and the Liberal party. It would have been spot the grower at the gathering because none of us could afford to pay the entry fee and why would anyone bother. The reality is that our reputation for quality has been trashed and the relative value of our grain has decreased.
Old McDonald
13/03/2015 10:14:15 AM

Jock, growers are represented by industry groups. I can think of nothing worse than 200 growers all saying "our wheat is worth $600/mt". Not to mention that one ill informed grower who constantly bemoans the removal of the single desk.
Jock Munro
13/03/2015 4:37:08 PM

Old McDonald, we ran the wheat industry for 60 years and we had a reputation that was second to none. The merchants have trashed that reputation. The ASIC meetings are little more than smoke and whistles. By the way - how can the mega merchants who source wheat from across the globe be acting in Australia's best interests?
Old McDonald
16/03/2015 9:19:21 AM

Jock, they are not meant to be acting in Australia's best interests. They will be acting in their shareholders' best interests. I think you are confusing companies and governments. Why is basis so strong if our quality is so poor? Wouldn't the "mega merchants" NOT want to buy Aussie grain? There is no debate here.
Jock Munro
16/03/2015 7:29:20 PM

Talking basis might make people feel as if they know something but the facts are that our customers are telling us that our quality and relative value are down. Basis was supposedly high prior to harvest but it was meaningless because no grower with any common sense would sell prior to having the grain in the bin.
17/03/2015 4:57:01 AM

The cheapest seller sets the price. All the merchants need to achieve is a margin for their shareholders where AWB had to maximise returns to growers. This included maximising quality. Its not rocket science! Since deregulation we have lost Golden rewards, Freight cost reductions and the end user has lost quality due to poor blending and we have lost price due to the Cheapest seller of Australias grain setting the price. The loss of all the Industry good functions has cost us dearly. Sticking your head in the sand will not stop you getting kicked in the wallet. Some fail to realise the truth.
free trader
17/03/2015 1:12:48 PM

Single desk or no single desk Australian grain still needs to be marketed properly and that does not mean by desk jockeys playing with charts and so forth, but by people who know what our grains can do and what the customer wants. For that reason alone AGIC Singapore should be supported as it brings buyers and sellers face-to face. Enough of the ranting please. We cant turn the clock back. So lets support our companies, our co-ops.
Jock Munro
18/03/2015 6:19:39 AM

free trader, AGIC is all about the merchants and middlemen who I believe are helping trash our industry. No amount of spin and 'rantings' will change the facts. Australian producers will now have to be wary of their so called representatives saddling them with a compulsory marketing levy through the GRDC to fund the fiasco and sham.
Philip Downie
18/03/2015 7:26:55 AM

I would say none of the people who know what our grain can do and what the customer wants were there. Because basically those that knew all this stuff left a long time ago and now...... Well we have people who are dragging out stuff from the past and getting it wrong.
18/03/2015 12:48:57 PM

On the Country Hour today we were told our corn growers are getting a $100 bonus for non gm corn, is the fact our marketers are not getting a significant premium for non gm canola further evidence of their deficiencies?
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