June 1, 2012
Australian agricultural could be in danger of becoming irrelevant and is falling behind top exporters such New Zealand, the ANZ Bank says. ANZ Bank chief executive Mike Smith said a much harder look needed to be taken at the Australian agricultural sector, given its declining productivity compared to the dynamic growth of commodity exports to Asia by Brazil, New Zealand and Indonesia. “Brazil’s soybean export industry is a global success and it’s based on sound strategy, strong alignment of producers and government, innovative marketing and an outstanding supply chain management,” Mr Smith told a Trans Tasman Business Circle luncheon yesterday. “And, of course, New Zealand has done brilliantly with its comparable achievement in dairy.” “Australia, however, is falling behind in agriculture, and I don’t believe we have even recognised it as a potential opportunity cost, let alone a sector in danger of becoming less and less globally relevant.” Mr Smith was talking in the context of how Australia might become better engaged with Asia as countries in Africa, South America and central Asia competed for greater share of commodity markets.