23 April 2020

Lockdowns

The lockdowns on the QLD/NSW border are making life difficult for border communities. In small border towns and farming communities, many residents now face extra hours of travel to get to the shops, go to work or make medical appointments.

 

Red meat producers throughout Australia impacted by recent bushfires can still access vital support to help with their recovery and rebuild amid COVID-19 restrictions, with a range of support programs now being delivered through online platforms.

 

Food Supply and Demand

Australian fruit and vegetable growers who supply the food service sector and have lost their avenue to market are being forced to destroy healthy crops, says the country’s peak industry body. There is lower demand from commercial industries and for highly perishable fresh produce, so ploughing the crop back in is the best option to avoid the high costs associated with picking and packing.

 

Markets

Global metal prices have seen the first sustained rise in months after the coronavirus pandemic sent them on an initial steep decline, as mines in Africa and South America close due to COVID-19.

 

Chinese beef demand is coming back online following the coronavirus blow. While it's a long way from top gear, the outlook for demand across animal proteins from the world's fastest-growing meat importer for the rest of 2020 is solid.

 

Rural Life

Queensland is bracing for the collapse of Virgin. The company is one of the state’s largest employers and is a key element of other industries such as airports, tourism, hotels, aviation training, travel agents and other suppliers.

 

With greater trust and a change in work culture due to COVID-19, those within the rural sector are optimistic the current working arrangements may eventually lead to greater acceptance for remote working and create more opportunities for those wanting to base themselves outside a capital city or major regional centre.

 

Though fuel prices are set to fall to around 80c/l, growers will not see immediate benefits, with fuel requirements for the imminent sowing period already in place.

 

Climate

The denial of science is among the top 10 risks to humanity, ranking alongside climate change, nuclear war, overpopulation and unregulated artificial intelligence (AI), a new report by the Commission for Human Future claims. The Commission is chaired by former Liberal leader John Hewson, who has been a scathing critic of the Coalition's climate change policy.