Australia Flood Damage to Cost Country Billions

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

Hi I'm Saijal Patel and you're watching “Asia Market Daily”.

The Australian state of Queensland continues to grapple with rising flood waters, with at least 22 towns and cities affected by the deluge.

At least 10 people have died, and the size of the flood zone is now bigger than France and Germany combined.

The flood crisis is impacting the country's coal exports, with several miners forced to declare force majeures.

Australia accounts for more than half of the world's coking coal exports, which are vital to China's steelmakers.

Wheat, sugar and cotton crops have also been destroyed, lifting wheat futures to an all time high.

While damage to food crops is likely to push up fruit, vegetable and dairy prices.

Already, the damage bill from the floods is expected to be in the billions.

CNBC's Matt Taylor has this report from Australia.

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It's been called a disaster of biblical proportions extensive floods now gripping large parts of central Queensland with an estimated 200-thousand people now affected.

(SOT) Anna Bligh, Queensland State Premier:
"Given the size of this disaster, given how long some of these towns are going to be either landlocked by cut off roads or inundated and the affect that will have particularly on small businesses and primary producers, on an application by the State Government, the prime minister has approved category C assistance to small businesses and to rural producers. This entitles small businesses and agricultural producers to grants of up to $A25,000 and freight subsidies of up to $A5,000.”

The city of Rockhampton is where major emergency efforts are now being directed, with access to the community now cut off.

On Monday the military was called in to help deliver food and medical supplies to the thousands of locals stranded as the flood waters continue to rise.

(SOT) Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister:
"A C-130 is moving food supplies from Amberley so that they can be taken to Mackay and then moved by road into Rockhampton. Fifty tons of food supplies will be moved by this method today and tomorrow.”

The United States has also joined the scramble to help those affected, promising aid to the state.

But officials are warning that flood waters will continue to rise with the Fitzroy River continuing to swell and the threat of more rain later in the week.

(SOT) Bob Gorman, Bundaberg:
"It's bloody shocking we're sort of getting on a little bit now and it's been pretty tough."

(SOT) Donna Stewart, St George Town Mayor:
"It's very heartbreaking for people to know that within a period of 12 months their homes may go under."

It's not only residents counting the costs of the disaster with miners and farmers also forced to abandon their operations.

But Queensland officials warn it could be a month before the flood waters dry up.

Matthew Taylor, CNBC Australia.

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And the New Zealand government is also assisting with the crisis, announcing today it's sending an emergency response team to Australia.

That's the latest “Asia Market Daily”.

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC.

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