Policy impact

By Country News

China’s changing agricultural policy presents new opportunities and challenges for Australia’s dairy, grain and meat exporters, according to a new report.

The future of Chinese agricultural policy report, released last week, outlines the growing importance of China and its agricultural policy to Australia.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences acting executive director Peter Gooday said a clear understanding of the policy environment would help Australia’s agriculture industry to make the most of opportunities in China.

‘‘China is one of the world’s great agriculture producers, importers and exporters and a valuable trading partner for Australia,’’ Mr Gooday said.

‘‘What happens in China can affect global agricultural markets and this can impact on Australian farmers and exporters in different ways.

‘‘In recent years, China’s agricultural policy has been changing and the emphasis is now on supply-side structural reform and revitalisation of rural areas.

‘‘These changes will likely be positive for Australian beef and dairy exports, but could have mixed implications for grains.’’

Mr Gooday said improved food safety standards will see an increased demand for meat from countries like Australia, where high food safety standards are already in place.

‘‘Policies to increase beef production and beef and dairy genetics could support increased demand for live feeder cattle, bovine semen and breeder cows,’’ he said.

‘‘China is also aiming to increase milk production by six per cent and dairy product production by 28 per cent by 2020, which could support increased imports of milk powder.

‘‘For grains, their focus is on improving domestic grain production and the outlook for import demand is unclear at this stage.’’

■The full ABARES Insights: Analysis of the future of Chinese agricultural policy report is available at: