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Australian Intensive Livestock Industries to Grow

by 5m Editor
4 March 2004, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - At this week's Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) Outlook Conference, specialists said despite the recent pressures of high feed costs and a rising Australian dollar, the intensive livestock industries - pig, poultry and dairy - are projected to grow over the medium term.

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John Hogan, Principal Research Economist with ABARE added that "over the next few years, feed grain prices are projected to fall which will benefit all the intensive livestock industries. In addition, the pig industry will be assisted by an assumed fall in the Australian dollar which will improve export competitiveness and dampen imports, while the poultry industry will be helped by growing domestic consumption."

Hogan said that the Australian dairy industry would also remain under pressure from higher global production and lower world prices in the medium term but that export revenue is projected to rise because of higher shipments of manufactured dairy products.

"The Australian dairy industry is facing enormous challenges," said Dr Mike Ginnivan, Managing Director, Dairy Australia. He said "rebuilding farmer confidence to improve productivity through smarter practices is vital to the ongoing viability of the industry."

Ginnivan told delegates that investment at both the farm and manufacturer level was critical in making ongoing improvements in productivity and competitiveness. He added that high value markets for dairy products must be developed and market access be increased through trade reforms for future economic sustainability.

John Cook, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Pork Limited told delegates that "although the current environment facing the Australian pig industry is not particularly encouraging, the Australian pig herd still possesses the best disease free status in the world, guaranteeing consumer's premium quality, safe food." He added one of the key challenges for the Australian pork industry will be to offer consumers complete meal solutions.

DR Jeff Fairbrother, Executive Director, Australian Chicken Meat Federation, told the conference "the chicken meat industry looks forward to solid growth as a significant player in the Australian agri-food sector." He added that the prime focus of the Australian chicken meat industry will be continued improvement in competitiveness and retaining and enhancing its status as Australia's most efficient meat industry, producing Australia's most popular meat.

Fairbrother said with outbreaks of avian diseases in other countries, like in South East Asia at present, Australia's biosecurity is of immense importance to the future of Australia's chicken meat industry.

Source: eFeedLink - 4th March 2004

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