16/05/2017 - 06:34

Optimism for WA farmers

16/05/2017 - 06:34

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Western Australian farmers are among the most optimistic in the nation, according to the annual Commonwealth Bank of Australia Agi Insights report to be released today, with 39 per cent likely to be investing in their businesses in the year ahead.

Optimism for WA farmers
Grain growers have had strong yields in recent seasons in WA.

Western Australian farmers are among the most optimistic in the nation, according to the annual Commonwealth Bank of Australia Agi Insights report to be released today, with 39 per cent likely to be investing in their businesses in the year ahead.

The company’s index tracks how likely a farming business will be to make physical or financial investments and add employees in the year ahead, and was developed by surveying around  1,600 business nationwide.

The WA index is 14.4 points, tied with South Australia and behind Tasmania (15.8), yet well ahead of the national average of 12.3 points.

For WA, it was an improvement of 6.7 points on last year.

Commonwealth general manager regional and agribusiness WA and SA Natasha Greenwood told Business News that the latest research said WA farmers were optimistic and investment ready.

There were a range of factors that contributed to that, she said.

Grain and cereal harvests were strong, with good yields, while livestock and wool prices were both high.

The price improvements were driven by both domestic and international demand, Ms Greenwood said, particularly from Asian countries buying animal protein.

Low interest rates and a stable currency were also contributing, she said.

Ms Greenwood said that in her experience, many farmers had upgraded storage equipment and machinery in the past year, while the latest data suggested more than one in three would be making fixed investments in the year ahead.

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