2 February 2016
As the nation's agribusinesses are finally settling into the new year, some states are expecting a good year for farmers. However, two of Australia's largest agriculture commentators have made concerning predictions for the coming 12 months.
Meat and Livestock Australia has forecast that cattle supply numbers across the country will fall to the lowest levels in 24 years. The expected fall in the national herd to 26.2 million in June, and again to 25.9 million in 2017, represents a 12 per cent fall since 2013. Demand for Australian beef and veal is not expected to weaken, but the lowered production will likely translate into reduced export numbers.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) believes that Australian agriculture commodities across the board will have a somewhat flat year. With the continuing decline of the dollar, and stiff competition from our regional neighbours shows no sign of easing, CBA Agri Commodities Strategist Tobin Gorey feels that dairy in particular is unsteady.
"Because we thought New Zealand production was going to decline an awful lot we're a little bit worried because it hasn't fallen as much as we thought it might," Mr Gorey told The Weekly Times on January 18.
"We're also a little bit worried that the fall in NZ won't be big enough to offset some small gains elsewhere".
Farm insurance more critical than ever
With talk of flat or possibly declining markets for Australia's agricultural products, making sure your farm has the correct insurance policy has never been more important. In an uncertain environment in terms of forecasted incomes, protecting your assets, whether they be livestock, machinery or structures, against unexpected damage or loss can help with some added peace of mind.
When you are carrying out your own forecasts for the coming year, it can't hurt to speak to your insurance agent about ways in which your policy could be improved.