The UAE and Saudi Arabia are Australia’s State of Victoria’s largest food and fibre export markets in the region with 331 million Australian dollars ($232 million) and 200 million Australian dollars in exports respectively, accounting for 27 per cent and 16 per cent of the total value of exports to Middle East and North Africa (Mena) destinations.
There was strong growth in Qatar with almost 40 per cent of Victoria’s exports to the country associated with the fact that it has not historically been an importer of Victorian grain, but of meat and increasingly horticultural products.
The Mena region is also an important destination for Victorian red meat, with export volumes up 10 per cent and value up 22 per cent from 2013-14, an increase of 96 million Australian dollar from the previous financial year.
Victoria remains Australia’s biggest food and fibre exporter as exports reached an all-time high of 11.6 billion Australian dollars ($8.1 million) in 2014-15, a $282 million increase from 2013-14.
Jacinta Allan, Victoria’s Acting Premier released the 2014-15 Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Report while visiting the Royal Melbourne Show, Victoria’s top agriculture event.
“These outstanding trade figures highlight the strong contribution that our primary producers make towards Victoria’s economy,” said Minister Allan.
“Our State’s ongoing prosperity relies on their hard work, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. We’re putting agriculture at the heart of Victoria’s economic development so that our farmers and industries can grow and prosper from paddock to port,” she said.
Victoria has identified food and fibre as one of six key industry sectors set to underpin Victoria’s future economic growth and jobs.
The Victorian government said there is an enormous opportunity for Victorian agriculture to continue to capitalise on increasing demand from Asia’s growing middle class for Victoria’s fresh, top quality produce.
John Butler, commissioner for the State Government of Victoria in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said: “The Mena region continues to be one of Victoria’s most important markets for food and fibre exporters,” says John Butler, Commissioner for the State Government of Victoria in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
“We have a well-established and trusted relationship here, and our high quality products can be found on the shelves of supermarkets right across the region. This is something we are very proud of and is the direct result of our long-standing commitment over many years. It’s not just about food security though, with Victoria also offering expertise in water management and forging important partnerships in agribusiness as well.” – TradeArabia News Service