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WA beef exports could grow to $1b by 2030

AAP logoAAP 23/09/2016 Rebecca Gredley

Western Australia's beef export industry to Asia could grow to $1 billion by 2030, according to a new report.

The report by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre released this week analyses the contribution of agriculture to the WA economy and the state's capabilities to meet increased global demand.

Total Australian beef exports to China alone could potentially increase from $1 billion to $4.5 billion by 2030, driven by a combination of increased demand for meat by the growing Asian middle class, and an expansion in efficient beef production and export volumes.

BCEC director Alan Duncan said the importance of Asia to WA's agricultural exports will grow as the economies develop and global demand for food changes.

"We can expect a greater demand for meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, sugar products and baked or processed goods as economic development continues in many countries throughout Asia," Professor Duncan said.

Of all the beef exported to Asia, 54 per cent comes from Australia, with WA benefiting from its close proximity.

An increase in the agriculture industry could resuscitate WA's economy, which has suffered from a post-mining boom downturn.

Despite the positive projected growth in the economic value of agriculture to WA, employment growth in the sector is not so optimistic.

Jobs in agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for 2.3 per cent of total WA employment in May 2016, compared to around five per cent 11 years earlier.

The WA agricultural sector relies heavily on working holiday visa, and work and holiday visa workers to meet seasonal staffing needs.

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