Agriculture in the AUSFTA

My com­men­tary on the slides show­ing import/export data was—in summary—that the appar­ent­ly poor per­for­mance of Aus­tralian exports to the USA in the first five years of the imple­men­ta­tion of the FTA reflected 

  1. an adverse move­ment in the $A/$US exchange rates; 
  2. the dra­mat­ic impact of the drought on sup­ply of crops and some live­stock, and; 
  3. high­er prices in East Asian mar­kets than in the USA for dairy and beef dur­ing this time. 

Beef sup­ply from Aus­tralia to the USA was affect­ed, too, by the absence dur­ing this peri­od of U.S. beef exports to Korea and Japan fol­low­ing the 2003 ‘out­break’ (one cow) of BSE in the Unit­ed States. This ensured both high prices and a unique sup­ply oppor­tu­ni­ty for Aus­tralian beef in those markets.

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