North Australia Digest – 19/10/12

The Australian
The Australian also report on the dangers of China’s slowing economy in dragging down commodity prices, particularly iron ore.
Mount Gibson to slash 270 jobs in response to volatile market conditions in the mining sector
The Financial Review
ANZ banking group has said that Australia’s agricultural industry requires massive injections of capital in order to take advantage of Asia’s increased demand for cereal and meat exports as the region becomes wealthier. The value of farm exports has the potential to triple to $1.7 trillion by 2050.
As Julia Gillard’s trip to India comes to an end, the Australian government makes it clear that it plans to use its leadership of an Indian Ocean peak group and the G20 summit group to forge closer diplomatic partnerships with India in trade, regional security and infrastructure development. This will be particularly important as the concerns about the strength of the Chinese economy grows.
Arrow Energy is confident its proposed liquefied gas plant in Queensland will go ahead despite major challenges imposed by high costs and ‘uncompetitive investment’.
The slowing growth of China’s economy as well as the increased supply hitting the market are weighing down the price of iron ore, with HSBC forecasting the price of iron ore will average $US105 per tonne by 2013.
The Age
The Age reports on Julia Gillard’s visit to India pointing out that previous obstacles between the two countries no longer exist, agreements have been made to start negotiating safeguards for uranium exports. This will pave the way for other relationships to expand, including defence ties, energy security and other bilateral trade agreements.
The Age also reports China’s slowing economic growth. Comments from Premier Wen Jiabao point advise ‘economic growth has started to stabilise’, suggesting that growth may continue at a slower rate. As a result, commodity prices are unlikely to rise to previous levels which will effect Australia’s mineral exports.
As well as Mount Gibson’s move to slash 270 jobs, Atlas Iron and Sinosteel Midwest have also announced cutbacks.
The West Australian
The Federal Treasury has rejected statements that the mining boom is drawing to a close, pointing to signs that China’s economic slow-down is set to bounce back, with Liberal Senator Mathias Cormann saying investment would grow 45 per cent this year after a 75 per cent expansion through 2011-12.
The Courier Mail
Atlas Iron set to increase efficiency by axing up to 30 jobs while increasing shipping targets and production capacity as a result of volatile prices and high costs.