The March Agribusiness Loan Monitor released today by the National Farmers Federation shows that only one financial institution has reduced agribusiness loan rates in the past month, while two others have increased rates.
While ANZ has reduced its term loan rates by 0.14 percent since the previous Monitor, the Commonwealth Bank and Suncorp both increased rates by 0.10pc during this time.
Chair of the NFF economics committee, John McKillop, said while the Reserve Bank of Australia kept rates on hold at 4.25pc in March, and the majority of banks followed suit by deciding not to move rates, some bank rates continued to fluctuate.
“In many ways, this month’s rates reflect the varying conditions facing livestock producers across Australia,” Mr McKillop said.
“While many banks held steady, one chose to decrease rates while two chose to increase them.
Similarly, while the overall forecast for farmers across Australia is positive off the back of improved seasonal conditions and ABARES recent predictions, many are facing challenging times due to floods and commodity price fluctuations.”
At the same time, the A$ remains above parity with the US$, and is expected to remain relatively high for the time being, bringing additional challenges to our export-dependent farmers.
“Seasonal conditions, natural disasters and the movements in the A$ are all outside the control of producers, which is why it is critical for them to have accurate and up-to-date information about areas they can control – like their decisions about banking products, loan rates, and portability options should they wish to switch banks,” Mr McKillop said.
The NFF provides the Agribusiness Loan Monitor as a tool to all Australian farmers in partnership with Canstar. The Monitor for March is available from the NFF website. The data for the March Monitor is current as of 16 March.