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Global weather extremes hit Australia’s agricultural sector

The recent environmental calamities caused by global weather extremes has thrown Australia’s agricultural sector into the spotlight. Most recently, bushfires are pushing up the cost of doing business.

Natural disasters destroy crops, farmland, and affect winemakers, as much of the produce must be discarded. A vicious cycle commences; food production is slow, thus reducing exports while demand increases. The country, one of the world’s most efficient food producers, is hence set to see a short term increase in food prices.

After the 2011 Queensland floods, it was predicted that food prices would rise by 30%, shaving off 0.4% of GDP growth. Hence, the recent bushfires will inevitably reduce Australia’s large slice in the AU$1 trillion a year global market for imported food.

Can a country dependent on exports and self-sufficiency of food, cope in the face of weather extremes?

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