Key global insights

India, the world’s biggest chickpea consumer, has announced that it will lift tariffs on chickpeas (currently around 66%) until 31 March 2025. Following the announcement, Australia desi chickpea prices rose sharply as Australian exporters begin to position product for Indian ports. This is the first time India has reduced its tariffs since it introduced substantial tariffs in 2017/18. The development is good news for Queensland producers, who last year exported $176.4m worth of chickpeas around the world.

In an Austalian first, Kalfresh Vegetables has been given the green light to establish the Scenic Rim Agricultural Industrial Precinct in the Fassifern Valley. It will feature a bioenergy plant that will have the capacity to process up to 388,000 tonnes of waste, creating enough natural gas to fuel 26,000 truck trips from Brisbane to Sydney. This will result in the reduction of carbon emissions that is equivalent to planting 7 million trees a year.

NATO has warned of increased Russian hybrid warfare activities against European nations. Hybrid warfare includes sabotage, cyber interference, and disinformation campaigns. Cross-border cyberattacks highlights the growing need for stronger cybersecurity in governmental institutions. Victims can include crucial infrastructure like health services and water supply, underlining the potential severity of such attacks. This presents opportunities to apply new defence technologies currently under development through Queensland's Defence Science Alliance (QDSA). Four projects between Queensland Universities and defence industry partners were awarded funding to develop new technologies to advance our cybersecurity capabilities.

Australian scientists are nearing a breakthrough in the domestic manufacturing of a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine.   which could potentially save $80 billion over 10 years in the event of a multi-state outbreak. With the recent success of the mRNA vaccine for Border Disease Virus (BDV) by the UNSW RNA Institute, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Meat & Livestock Australia, researchers are now applying their learnings to create vaccines for lumpy skin disease (LSD) and FMD. The development of a vaccine for these diseases will help safeguard Queensland's agricultural industries and economy from potential outbreaks and provide potential export opportunities to other impacted countries.

Federal Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek has announced approval for the Punchs Creek renewable energy project, an 800 MW solar farm and 250 MW / 250 MWh battery energy storage system being developed by Skylab Australia. Brisbane-based Skylab said the EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation) approval is a critical milestone for the proposed Punchs Creek Project being developed in the heart of the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone. The Punchs Creek project will support up to 340 direct jobs in construction and up to 10 ongoing operational jobs.

Significant progress in the development of India’s 12 “major ports” has helped the nation’s port capacity to more than double over the past decade – from 745m tonnes to over 1,600m tonnes. India has risen rose from 54th in the World Bank’s ‘Logistics Performance Index’ a decade ago to 38th last year. These infrastructure advancements should assist Queensland exporters to further develop their trade with India. Queensland’s exports last financial year to India totaled just under $18b.

Featured insights

Future Gas Strategy

  • The Federal Government has released its ‘Future Gas Strategy’, plan for gas production and consumption in Australia.
  • It outlines six principles to guide policymaking around gas, including for Australia (which accounts for a fifth of global LNG trade) to “remain a reliable trading partner for energy”.
  • Australia is expected to maintain large share of LNG exports due to existing trade relationships, proximity to Asia and reliability of supply due on Australia’s low sovereign risk.
  • In the year ending March 2024, Queensland Treasury estimates that Queensland exported $22.7 billion worth of LNG overseas.

Constraints on international student enrolments

In case you missed it...

  • The Federal Government Budget was  announced on 14 May, highlighting funding to ease cost-of-living pressures, build more homes, invest in Future Made in Australia, strengthen medicare and the care economy, broaden and advance equality, and strengthen trade, investment, and defence with ASEAN and the Pacific.
  • In an attempt to cool trade tensions, the Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Europe to discuss trade matters with the European Union, engaging in talks with France, Hungary and Serbia.
  • A $US3.2 methane-reduction initiative funded through the Greener Cattle Initiative, aims to achieve sustainable decreases in methane emissions.