Archive for: April, 2019

Aussies using credit cards wisely: data

Apr 29 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Australians are still clocking up record credit card debt but are also heeding the calls to watch their finances closely, with growth in card balances slowing sharply, new figures show.

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Australians spent a record $17.69 billion on their credit cards in October, Reserve Bank of Australia data published on Thursday shows.

It is the first time total credit card spending exceeded $17 billion and eclipsed the previous best of $16.95 billion recorded in August this year.

At the same time, credit card owners made $18.80 billion in repayments in October – also a record and a 14.2 per cent increase from the previous month.

CommSec chief equities economist Craig James said the figures showed Australians were keeping their outstanding debt in check.

“It's clear that Australians are using their credit cards more often but more wisely,” Mr James said.

“The conventional wisdom is that consumers are drowning in a sea of credit card debt. But the evidence is totally to the contrary.”

The number of credit card purchases rose by 17.2 per cent to 123 million in October from 105 million in September.

The average credit card balance in October was $2993 unchanged from the previous four months and just below the $3014 recorded in June this year.

“Not only has the average credit balance barely budged in the past four months, it is growing at the slowest annual rate in two years,” Mr James said.

“Aussie consumers have clearly heeded calls to keep a close watch on their finances.

“Household balance sheets are in good shape. Not only are Aussie consumers managing their debt load, higher incomes are also helping.”

Australia's credit card balances rose by 0.31 per cent to $41.282 billion in October, from $41.156 billion in September.

There were 39,000 new credit and charge accounts issued in October, increasing the total 13.79 million, from 13.75 million in September.

The number of cash advances on credit and charge cards rose to 3.25 million from 2.81 million in September, as the value of advances increased to $1.109 billion from $958 million.

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Drought hits pig farmers hard: report

Apr 29 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

The drought is having a bigger impact on Australia's pig meat industry than increased imports, a Productivity Commission report has found.

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The commission also warns that the pig industry could suffer “serious injury” next year through reduced production.

The report was commissioned by former treasurer Peter Costello in October.

While the market share of imports of processed pork has doubled to 67 per cent from 33 per cent in 2002-03, the commission says rising feed prices are what are actually causing the industry serious injury.

Feed costs account for 55 or 60 per cent of a pig producer's total costs, with grain representing 80 to 85 per cent.

Drought and growing worldwide demand for ethanol, and strong economic growth in China and India, lifted grain prices to record highs in late 2007, it said.

Feed wheat peaked at $480 a tonne in October, and while it has eased back slightly from there, the commission says even $400 represents more than a doubling in price since May 2006.

“There is not clear evidence that increased imports have caused or are threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic industry,” the commission said.

“The principal cause of serious injury to the domestic industry would appear to be higher domestic feed prices.”

It says most pig producers are suffering reduced profitability and many are suffering financial losses.

This is resulting in reductions in breeding sows and employment levels, and will have a negative impact on production in early to mid 2208.

“In the commission's assessment, the pig farming part of the industry is accordingly suffering serious injury,” it said.

It said the results for the meat processing industry are less clear with some operators reporting increased profits and others lower profits.

However, the threat of reduced pig production levels next year will reduce profitability, it says.

A final report is due in March.

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Australia thrash NZ to regain trophy

Apr 29 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

New Zealand had to win the third and final game to retain the trophy, but could not maintain a strong start to the match.

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They were dismissed for 168 from 34 overs in reply to Australia's 6-282 from 50 overs and lost the series 2-0.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting was named man of the match and man of the series.

He scored a superb unbeaten 134 from 133 balls after 107no in game one, while game two was washed out.

The only New Zealand batsmen to offer genuine resistance were No.4 Scott Styris and tailender Mark Gillespie.

Their ninth-wicket stand of 40 from 28 balls was the best of the innings.

Brett Lee, who took 3-47, bowled Styris for 75 and Brad Hogg also snared his third wicket when he had Gillespie caught at mid-wicket for 24 to end the match.

But Hogg had an average bowling return as he tries to force his way into the Boxing Day Test side.

His six overs returned 3-49, but included some punishment from No.10 Gillespie, who was batting with a runner.

Earlier, New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram conceded only five runs from his first five overs to give Australia early trouble.

His opening spell over eight overs returned 2-18 and he finished with 2-34 from 10.

Australia were in trouble at 3-87 in the 20th over, but that brought together Ponting and Andrew Symonds.

They put on 114 for the fourth wicket to first steady the innings and then effectively take the match away from New Zealand.

Symonds made 52 before Kyle Mills trapped him lbw, one ball after reaching his half-century with a boundary.

Ponting gave a half-chance on 25 when a shot off his toes landed just short of mid-wicket, but otherwise he was in top form.

His innings featured 10 fours and two sixes.

The skipper's previous best one-day international score at his home ground was only 37.

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Wild Oats XI chasing a hat-trick

Apr 29 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

The race favourite led the 82-strong fleet out to sea from Sydney Harbour, although forecasters say “soft” winds mean the Australian yacht is unlikely to beat its record of 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds set in 2005.

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Rival supermaxis Leopard and Skandia followed Wild Oats out of the harbour, intent on chasing down the title-holder during the 628-nautical mile race down Australia's east coast to Hobart on the island state of Tasmania.

Light winds prevented the yachts unfurling their colourful spinnakers for the opening run out of Sydney Harbour, with the calm conditions also preventing the collisions and rule infringements that have marred previous starts in the congested waterway.

The three supermaxis, the largest yachts in the race at 30 metres (98 feet) are expected to dominate the race, with Wild Oats the bookies' favourite, followed by Britain's Leopard and fellow Australian Skandia.

The 2005 and 2006 winner, is bidding to become the first yacht since 1948 to win line honours three years in a row.

It was leading at 5:00pm (AEDT), four hours into the race, followed by 2003 winner Skandia and Leopard.

Sydney yacht Zephyr was leading the race for handicap honours, followed by Skandia and US yacht Rosebud.

Forecasters expect perfect racing conditions in the first 24 hours but winds are likely to ease Thursday, meaning the race record is unlikely to be threatened.

“That's why records are called records; they are elusive things and very hard things to beat,” Wild Oats skipper Mark Richards said.

“Thursday could be a very slow day and for the record you can't afford to have too much time going slowly. We could even park up for four or five hours so that really hurts.

“It's going to be a very tricky race out there and we'll have to work very hard tactically. Anything could happen. It's still a couple of days out but it's looking trickier every day.”

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Wild Oats XI holds lead

Apr 29 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

Wild Oats XI has fallen off race record pace in the Sydney to Hobart but still has a strong lead over British maxi City Index Leopard in the Bass Strait.

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The maxi yachts have hit a southerly in the middle of the strait which has slowed them down slightly after setting a cracking pace overnight.

Wild Oat's lead over Leopard is out to almost 13 nautical miles, with Skandia in third, well ahead of the rest of the fleet headed by Ichi ban.

After leading the charge out of Sydney heads yesterday, super-maxi Wild Oats XI gradually increased its lead throughout the night and had pulled more than 11 nautical miles clear of second-placed City Index Leopard by the time the boats entered Bass Straight at 5am this morning.

Victorian maxi Skandia, travelling closer to shore, remained in third place with Ichi Ban and Rosebud heading the rest of the fleet.

The leading boats were on race record pace for most of the night travelling winds of up to 20 knots before the southerly hit.

Earlier today Leopard skipper Mike Slade said even a slight increase in conditions could put Wild Oats XI's 2005 race record under threat and also declared this year's contest was far from over.

“Were trying hard to pull back Wild Oats XI after her splendid downhill run,” Mr Slade said.

“The 10-hour downhill run was not our best suit but we quite like this.

“We are trying to get some separation from Wild Oats XI by going east looking for stronger wind and at the moment we are getting it,” he said earlier this morning.

“We have the whole of Bass Strait ahead of us and these are conditions we like so we must make the most of it.”

Slade said he hoped to reel Wild Oats back to within around five nautical miles by the time they reached Flinders Island so he could take advantage of any opportunities that might come from the unpredictable winds off the Tasmanian coast.

The comfortable race conditions so far has seen only two boats retire from the race – Mr Kite (broken rudder) and Berrimilla, which wrapped a spinnaker around its mast.

Capriccio of Rhu was set to resume racing this morning after it was forced to stop in Wollongong last night to allow a crew member to go to hospital after he severed the top of a finger.

Bruce Taylor's Chutzpah led the early IRC handicap standings this morning, from Spirit of Koomooloo and Wedgetail, while Namadgi led the PHS division.

Wild Oats XI is aiming to become only the second boat after Morna and the first in almost sixty years to claim three straight line honours wins.

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