Manufacturing update 5

Australia has labour cost advantage over the US in some manufacturing areas

  • Australian manufacturing workers are particularly competitive in the medical technology and aerospace sectors, according to the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Sector.
  • “Against common belief, when it comes to high-skilled labour, we actually have an advantage,” said the managing director of the AMGC, Jens Goennemann.
  • Skilled workers in these sectors were 38 to 40 per cent cheaper to hire than those in the US.

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Earnings news, Trump speech lift Bluescope shares

  • Bluescope’s annual general meeting yesterday heard that the company was on track for a 50 per cent increase in underlying earnings for the year’s first-half, despite increases in coking coal prices and a global oversupply of steel.
  • AAP reports that the company expects underlying earnings before interest and tax to be at least $510 million for the half-year to December, compared to $340 million in the corresponding period last year.
  • The firm’s share price was up 13.5 per cent yesterday, reports Fairfax.

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Amcor buys Chinese food packaging firm

  • Packaging giant Amcor is acquiring Hebei Qite Packing Co, a flexible packaging products maker based in the Northern China province of Hebei, for $US28 million ($36 million).
  • “Amcor continues to have substantial opportunities to grow our flexible packaging business in the Asian region,” Amcor’s Managing Director and CEO, Ron Delia said in a statement.
  • The acquisition of Hebei Qite Packing Co remains subject to regulatory approvals.

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New wind tower contract to create 50 new manufacturing jobs  

  • Keppel Prince Engineering has said that up to 50 new jobs will be created, with the company to provide 28 per cent of the towers at the White Rock wind farm.
  • Shanghai Taisheng Wind Power Equipment will provide most of the towers.
  • The 175 megawatt wind farm, for which construction began in April, will have 80 tower sections provided by the Portland, Victoria-based Keppel.

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Blackmores wins NSW Exporter of the year award

  • The 2016 Premier’s NSW Export Awards, which recognise excellence in the export of goods and services by NSW business across 22 categories, were hosted last week by the Export Council of Australia (ECA).
  • Premier Mike Baird congratulated Blackmores and the other NSW export award winners for their entrepreneurship and the role they play in supporting the state’s economy.
  • “Exporters are critical to the state’s economic prospects and I congratulate the incredible growth of Blackmores. It’s great to see a company that originated on the Northern Beaches achieve growth on a global scale,” Mr Baird said.

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Several manufacturing industry giants join the AMCG

  • The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMCG) has recently signed on an impressive suite of multinational manufacturing companies and local research institutions and businesses that will raise the profile and competitiveness of Australian manufacturing.
  • Members include the likes of Thales, Quickstep, The Dow Chemical Company, Siemens, Bosch, Swisse, Laing O’Rourke, SPEE3D, University of NSW and the CSIRO.
  • “We’re focused on delivering new technology and better processes for Australia, by collaborating with industry,” CSIRO’s Manufacturing Flagship Director, Mr Keith McLean said.

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Fonterra launches food quality seal

  • Fonterra is rolling out new global food quality seal as part of its efforts to add value to milk and maximise returns for farmers.
  • The quality seal – called Trusted Goodness™ – will initially appear on packs of Fonterra-branded products in the US, China and Malaysia as part of a global roll-out over the coming months.
  • “Our purpose is to be the world’s most trusted source of dairy nutrition. Trusted Goodness™ will help to tell our New Zealand quality story and access more value for our farmer shareholders,” Fonterra’s Chief Operating Officer, Global Consumer and Food service Jacqueline Chow, said.

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For further industry insights, get in touch with Phillip Ferreira on 02 8024 7140.