28 August 2015
One of Australia’s largest agribusiness lenders, Suncorp Bank, has encouraged Queensland producers to plan now for improved conditions with a lower Australian dollar and the likelihood of summer rains contributing to a positive outlook for the upcoming season.
The recent slow down in the Chinese economy and the strengthening US dollar has underpinned predictions that the Australian dollar could continue to drop over the coming years, which Suncorp Bank Head of Agribusiness, Troy Constance, said would present a number of opportunities for local producers.
“The weaker dollar, a growing appetite for quality Australian produce including meat, sugar, wheat and dairy and the hope of rain in the coming months should encourage producers to remain optimistic about the seasonal changes ahead,” Mr Constance said.
“It also means producers and agribusiness owners should revisit their business plan to ensure they are in a strong position to take advantage of a good season.
"Farmers need a level of support to get them through until the season changes, but they also need a clear and funded plan to restore productivity.
“That means including their bank as part of their business advice network and talking regularly and genuinely about the support they need.”
Mr Constance said beef producers impacted by drought faced particular challenges in restocking with beef prices now at record highs.
“At some point the dry season will end, and businesses need to remain focused on how they plan to rebuild productivity and profitability.
“It’s about deciding on best use of available cash and agreeing a plan for when it does rain.”
As part of its commitment to supporting drought impacted farmers, Suncorp Bank recently appointed a new Regional Manager, Brecken Curtis, to lead a dedicated agribusiness team supporting customers on the ground in Longreach, Charleville, Richmond and Emerald.
Their role is to ensure primary producers can rely on face-to-face advice from knowledgeable and passionate people working in the regions.
Media Contact: Ashleigh Paterson 07 3135 2562 or 0407 925 665 | Meghan Henricks 07 3135 2647 or 0408 533 590
About Suncorp: Suncorp Group includes leading general insurance, banking, life insurance and superannuation brands in Australia and New Zealand. The Group has 14,500 employees and relationships with nine million customers. Suncorp Group Limited is a Top 20 ASX-listed company with $94 billion in assets. Suncorp Bank is Australia’s leading regional bank servicing more than one million personal, SME and agribusiness customers