15 April 2020

Food Supply and Demand

There is a large divide between demand for food and demand for fibre over the last few weeks. Livestock, dairy, grains and horticulture are seeing good prices and high demand, whereas wool, cotton and premium products are seeing massive slumps. Wool is at a near four year low, whereas the price for good slaughter lambs is almost 100c/kg dearer than this time last year. (For more on cattle see here)

 

Demand for potatoes has spiked. The potato is in high demand for its long shelf life, leaving businesses almost struggling to keep up. Though demand has settled, pressure will continue due to low summer productions.

 

Remote farms and big stations have been impacted by limits imposed by supermarkets, but assurances are now being put in place to ensure they can continue to stock their pantries as they need. 

 

South Australian grape growers have had a tough year due to extreme heat, frost, wind, bushfires, smoke taint and now COVID-19. Yields are down between 50 and 80% in some regions, but the one positive of 2020 is that the quality is high.

 

COVID-19 has pushed beer consumption back 10 years, as an increase in home drinking cannot match the damage done by closure of pubs, restaurants and major events. Beer production is set forecast to fall by 82 million hectolitres in 2020 across the globe, and global barley stocks forecast to grow 21% over 2020/21.

 

Markets

Though recent high demand for food has been for largely cheaper products, there is potential for some of that demand to soon shift on to more premium products. Rural Bank has recently released a research report that sets out their expectations for demand over the coming months.

 

A number of agribusinesses currently have share prices higher than when the world's stock markets began to crash in late February

 

Lockdowns

Victoria’s recreational hunters and fishers are pushing back against the lockdowns.

 

Climate Change

Climate scientists say investment in climate following COVID-19 is essential and the best way to rebuild

 

Australia’s main electricity grid was powered by more than 50% renewable for the second time ever on Easter Saturday.


A new study has found that NSW’s lakes, rivers and lagoons are warming twice as fast as the ocean. This creates huge problems for the states fishing and aquaculture industry, with oysters being particularly vulnerable to the change.