Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief

Farm Online News

A quick check around the traps at some of the news in agribusiness


LTAP still wants GrainCorp

The lead figure in last year's ambitious $3.3 billion debt-heavy bid for GrainCorp says Long-Term Asset Partners is still in the chase, despite alternative plans unveiled this month to spin off the big grain company's malt business.

Tony Shepherd, LTAP's chairman and a prominent player in logistics and infrastructure developments in NSW and Victoria said GrainCorp's demerger plan had not derailed LTAP's agenda, which was still "full steam ahead".

He told The Australian Financial Review LTAP continued to be deeply engaged with GrainCorp and due diligence research relating to its bid agenda.

While the demerger plan was different to what LTAP had proposed he said both sides were still open to discussions.


Cattle price hurts ag index

A tough start to the growing season in eastern Australia and falling cattle prices sent the National Australia Bank's Rural Commodities Index sliding 2.7 per cent in March.

Tasmania was the only state with a stronger performance, up 0.6pc, with lower cattle prices in early March leading the decline in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The NAB Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) dropped to 385 cents a kilogram, its lowest level since late 2014, but rebounded briefly by late March after Queensland and northern NSW rain to more than 500c/kg.

NAB agribusiness economist, Phin Ziebell, said more good rain would boost the EYCI with restocker demand, but the dry autumn continued.

Eastern states grain prices also dropped $100 a tonne to mid $300/t price territory, with NAB tipping wheat in the high $300/t range over winter, but continuing drought would push many producers to destock, reducing grain demand.

Global dairy trade auction prices remained strong and lamb prices continued reflecting strong overseas demand, too.

"A hot wool market is also driving very strong returns for the sheep industry," Mr Zeibel said.


QIC-NAPCO donates $30,000

Queensland Investment Corporation has partnered with the North Australian Pastoral Company (NAPCO) to donate an extra $30,000 to assist communities in North West Queensland affected by floods.

QIC owns a controlling stake in NAPCO.

QIC chief executive officer, Damien Frawley, said locals and businesses had lost infrastructure, cattle, property and their livelihoods.

Funds were donated to the Sisters of the North charity, for disaster relief in the Richmond, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Winton and Normanton Shires.

"This donation is about supporting the locals, farmers and businesses in this region who are victims of an environmental lottery."

NAPCO CEO, Phil Cummins, said agriculture was a key driver for the Queensland economy and NAPCO continued to work with the government and industry "to help in any way we can".


Going bush? Buy Australian

The Australian Made Campaign is encouraging Australians to support local producers and manufacturers by choosing Australian products if going bush during an Easter holiday break.

Last year Australian holiday-makers spent 54.8 million nights in caravan and camping style accommodation, up nine per cent from the previous year.

"We are so lucky to have access to genuine Aussie products made right here in our backyard, from swags and outdoor showers, to caravans, camping trailers and camping accessories," said Australian Made chief executive officer, Ben Lazzaro.

"It's been a tough year for Aussie farmers and manufacturers, particularly those in regional areas affected by fire, drought and floods, so it is important to show our support," Mr Lazzaro said.

"When you buy Australia Made, Australian Grown products, you know you are getting products made to the highest of manufacturing standards and grown in our clean, green environment - and you are supporting local industry."


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