Australian rice growers may get silver lining after storms

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th June 2016

storm-clouds-426271_960_720Is there is a silver lining to the unexpected heavy rainstorms that have wreaked havoc in Sydney and parts of New South Wales this week?

The intense storms destroyed hilltop homes that were crushed by mountainous ocean waves crashing into Sydney’s suburban scenic coastline.

Yet the silver lining is that some of the rainwater will be topping up Australia’s irrigation water reserves that are also used by Australia’s rice farms at a time when Australian rice is in high international demand.

According to a new IBISWorld report, 61.5 per cent of all Australian rice industry revenue in 2015-16 came from exports.

The industry is expected to generate revenue of AUD $619 million in 2015 – 16. Over the past five years Australian rice industry revenue has increased by an annualised 29.5 per cent.

Australian rice heads to Japan in wake of Fukushima disaster

IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst, Jem Anning, said Australian rice growers have received more business from Japan in the wake of the country’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“Rice exports have been volatile over the past five years due to mixed demand, price movements and the reliance on water,” Anning said.

“However, Australian rice growers have benefitted from rising demand from Japan since 2011-12, when the Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred. Many of the paddocks near the nuclear power plants are contaminated, and soil in the path of the tsunami that caused the nuclear disaster is too salty for growing rice, notwithstanding the absence of adequately functioning irrigation systems,” she stated.

Australia’s rice industry was ranked third in a top 20 list recently compiled by IBISWorld measuring export growth over the past five years.

It follows behind Australia’s export growth rates for the prefabricated wooden building manufacturing which ranked no.1, and growth in exports of bauxite mining which ranked second.