Australia and New Zealand international trade, 2020 update
No region has been spared from the decline in international trade. However, the Pacific regions appear to have faired better than other regions. Trade declines have remained in the single digits through 2020, while other regions declined up to 40%. So far in 2020, imports decreased 9% and exports remained level. By comparison, the North America region experienced a 24% and 32% decrease in imports and exports, respectively. (unctad.org)
Regional top 10 agri-food exports by value in 2019
Land usage by country (hectares)
The cost of production: Australian agriculture CO2 emissions
On average, agriculture production in Australia created 158,277.16 gigagrams of CO2 emissions per year, the fifth highest of all countires. However, the fourth largest contributer, the United States, had an average emission level that was more than double that of Australia.
Agriculture emissions by Australia and New Zealand have decreased slightly since 1995. The highest level recorded was in 2001, and the lowest point was in 2010.
Australia’s rank improved from fifth largest contributor of agriculture-related greenhouse emissions in 1995 down to seventh, but this is largely due to increased emissions from developing countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, and Brazil.
Despite high emissions, the land area of Oceania is significantly smaller than other continents. Because of this limited space, Oceania as a whole contributes less agriculture-based CO2 emissions overall than all other continents, all of which cover larger sufice areas.
Among the techniques that are more sustainable and that reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions are: Adopting no-till farming to reduce the number of times equipment crosses the fields. Additionally, embracing animal-raising techniques that include rotational grazing, deep-bedding animals and composting manure can reduce global agriculture emissions. (fao.org)
Global trends in agri-food trade
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, global trade in agricultural commodities and food has evolved significantly. It has more than doubled in real value between 1995 and 2018, rising from $680 billion in 1995 to 1.5 trillion in 2018 (measured in 2015 prices).
The growing trend peaked with the food price crisis in 2007–2008 and was abruptly interrupted by the financial crisis in 2008 and the global recession that followed. Although trade recovered in 2010 and 2011 and commodity prices surged again, the slowdown in the global economy, especially in emerging economies affected both trade and commodity prices significantly. (fao.org)
Since 2014, the decline in the value of agri-food trade has been mainly due to falling commodity prices and exchange rate fluctuations. Growth rates slowly rebounded from 2016-2019.
In 2020, economic disruptions brought by COVID-19 have affected some sectors significantly more than others. Trade in the automotive and energy sectors collapsed, while global trade in agri-food has so far been the least volatile sector. The value of traded agri-food products remained stable and actually increased in value by about 2 percent since the beginning of 2020. (unctad.org)
Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activity on the rise globally
As production has rebounded and emerging markets have developed and expanded, pollution in the form of greenhouse gasses have increased significantly since 1995. Although new technologies and pratices are being developed to reduce emissions, the trend shows no signs of slowing currently. South American countries are by far the worst offenders in the selected regions: According to FAOSTAT, regional agricultural emissions (from crops and livestock) grew from 621k gigagrams to over 791k gigagrams of carbon dioxide equivalent from 1994 to 2017. (fao.org)