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Kangaroo’s odds against dragon, eagle, bear in AGIC 2018 spotlight

by Grain Central, 28 June 2018

AUSTRALIA’S options to assert itself in the global marketplace among policy and trade heavyweights China, the United States and Russia will be under examination at the 2018 Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) in Melbourne on August 1-2.

AGIC 2018 will be held August 1-2 at the Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne

The event is Australia’s leading grain-industry conference, and is set to focus on where Australia fits within a changing economic climate under the theme of “The Eagle, The Bear, The Dragon…The Kangaroo?”

“Growing middle classes in many of Australia’s overseas grain markets are giving our industry opportunities for demand-driven growth, but we’re also coming up against strong and increasing competition,” Grain Trade Australia (GTA) CEO Pat O’Shannassy said.

“Now is the time for Australia to look ahead and to be ready not only for increased competition from newcomers supplying Asian and Middle East markets, but also revised strategies from our long-term competitors like the US.”

Against a backdrop of China’s growing economic strength, more and more grain is being exported out of the Black Sea region, and the potential for Baltic States to expand into markets on which Australia has relied has increased.

These are subjects which will be touched on by government as well as private-sector speakers.

The conference is hosted by GTA, the Australian Oilseeds Federation, and Pulse Australia.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, will deliver the conference’s opening address.

Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo will also address the conference on day 1, and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon on day 2.

Ructions in China-US trade relations and their impact on world sorghum and oilseed markets, as well as the fall-out from India’s trade policy and crop developments which shut Australia’s key chickpea market in the short term will be among the topics discussed at AGIC 2018.

Ukrainian Grain Association president Nikolay Gorbachov and INTL FCStone senior commodity risk manager Rory Deverell will talk about the present and future of Black Sea grain production and its markets, including Asia, while a panel discussion facilitated by Perth-based Plumgrove director, Andrew Young, will focus on China.

The session will feature representatives of leading global companies such as Bunge Asia’s senior milling-wheat marketing manager, William Syers, COFCO Agri Australia CEO, Yebin Li, and Glencore Agriculture’s senior commercial manager Lyndon Asser.

Renowned global pulse market commentator, Guruswamy Chandrashekhar, will deliver a keynote address about the Indian grain market’s dynamics and outlook to next year in a session which examines the changing politics of global trade, and will include a panel discussion.

On the domestic front, broadcaster Virginia Trioli will interview GrainCorp chair, Graham Bradley, and CBH Group CEO, Jimmy Wilson, as representatives of two of Australia’s big three bulk-handling heavyweights.

Day two’s Spirit of Grain session will look at demand for Australian grain in the beer, baijiu, shochu and whiskey sectors, and a separate session will provide an insight into the innovation and potential for microbusinesses based on malting, brewing and distilling.

Advanced Economic Solutions Omaha, Nebraska-based principal, Bill Lapp, will give his insights into world grain and oilseed markets, and a look at trends in Asia’s feed and flour-milling sectors will come from S&P Global Platts Asia-pacific agriculture manager, Andrei Agapi.

Technology, investment and trade facilitation sessions have also been included in the program.

Registrations: ausgrainsconf.com Early-bird rates close Friday, July 6.

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