Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 390
Posted on: August 14th, 2018


The quote for this week is from Agriculture ministers from the G20 countries in regard to World Trade Organisation rule reforms.

Julia Klöckner, German minister of Food and Agriculture says, “If one wants to do business, trade, at an even level, it can’t be a one-way street, trade is a way of protecting peace, if one cooperates, if one communicates with people from other countries and nations, I think fair trade is a good answer to protectionism.”

The Argentine Agriculture Minister Luis Miguel Etchevehere says, “There will always be controversies. What differentiates us from the past is the way to solve them. Independent of all the news there was surrounding (the meeting), we managed to reach a unanimous consensus. And since the meeting was taking place, all the countries had bilateral meetings to continue trying to find common ground.”


The unfortunate drought condition impacting Australian farmers has not held back the rising values of farming properties in NSW. In the last twelve months alone, some areas have appreciated by 30%.

The low interest rates and record high prices for livestock are fuelling this increasing and there are plenty of farmers looking to buy in at the moment.

Scott Fuller, a land valuer with Herron Todd White, indicates that areas to the north and north-east of Broken Hill have seen dramatic changes. The measure used is a “dry sheep equivalent” (DSE); around a year ago the DSE was $200 but is now closer to $400-500. One property has seen the DSE jump from $100 to $400 in the last year.

“Country is worth what people are prepared to pay for it,” Mr Fuller said, “So even though there are a lot of drought affected areas there are still pockets of profitability and with low interest rates and high protein prices the local farmers are still paying.
“In 2006 we had drought conditions, but we still had rising prices. I have been through a couple of cycles and this is the strongest one I have been through.”

Source: Matthew Cranston, Australian Financial Review, 29th July 2018


The hype surrounding Bitcoin may be all but over, but blockchain technology is now finding uses in agriculture and trade.  The Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced that it successfully tracked a batch of 17,000kg of almonds from Mildura, Victoria to their delivery in Hamburg, Germany.  The experiment was completed using a private blockchain built on the Ethereum network, utilizing strategically placed nodes at various points along the supply chain.  This allowed CBA partners to check in on the location, temperature, humidity and various other metrics of the shipment in real time.

According to CBA exec Chris Scougall, “Our blockchain-enabled global trade platform experiment brought to life the idea of a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent”.

The potential benefits of this technology are not going unnoticed by the big players, with the Bank of England announcing just a couple of weeks ago that it would also be exploring the use of blockchain.

The technology does not come without its uncertainties, however, as it remains unclear how costly it is to log tracking data in the system – given that a transaction must be made for each instance of communication.  CBA also stopped short of explaining exactly how the nodes operate or what would happen if one were to fail.

Source: Matthew Beedham, The Next Web, 30th July 2018

A Simple explanation of Blockchain technology can be found here.

CHART OF THE WEEK The chart for this week comes from the Water Flow, showing the Southern Connect Murray-Darling Basin allocation market trave and volume from 2009 to 2018.
Source: Waterflow – Marsden Jacobs, July 2018