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$100 Million Hay-Day for Balaklava’s Balco

– Balco
Melissa Smith

Balco Australia Secures $100 Million Deal as China Trade Tariffs Ease

In a significant development for South Australian agriculture, Balaklava-based company Balco Australia has sealed a landmark deal worth $100 million with Chinese partner Bright Farming. The agreement, signed at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, marks a pivotal moment for Balco Australia, as recent easing of trade conditions enables the company to export approximately 200,000 tonnes of Australian oaten hay to Bright Farming over the next decade.

This lucrative agreement comes in the wake of Premier Peter Malinauskas’ recent visit to China, where Rob Lawson, CEO of Balco Australia, played a crucial role in key industry meetings with Chinese counterparts, including Bright Food Group. The visit was part of a larger delegation that included Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Federal Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, and Federal Trade and Investment Minister Don Farrell.

“Balco has been privileged to have a long-term relationship with Bright Farming over many years”, CEO Rob Lawson said, “Bright is one of our key customers who are always looking for good quality and safely supplied feed. We are honored to sign this long-term agreement today and look forward to the future, seeing the continued success of the Bright Group.”

Before the imposition of trade impediments in the 2021-22 financial year, South Australian hay exports to China were valued at approximately $33 million. With the recent record crop yields and the removal of trade barriers, this deal holds the potential to be particularly lucrative for South Australian farmers.

Balco Australia stands out as the sole hay export company in Australia that conducts rigorous quality and nutritional testing. It is also the only Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) accredited hay export company in the country, showcasing its commitment to delivering top-notch products to its international partners.

As Australia continues to strengthen economic cooperation and trade globally, the South Australian Government has actively supported companies like Balco Australia, with 21 of them participating in CIIE at the Australian Pavilion in 2023.

Balco Australia’s $100 million deal with Bright Farming not only highlights the company’s commitment to excellence but also underscores the potential for strengthened economic ties between Australia and China in the agricultural sector.


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