Australia says farm production forecast to top $60 billion next fiscal

The gross value of Australia’s farm production is forecast to pass $60 billion for the first time next financial year, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

The expected modest rise in value was bolstered by improved prospects for livestock and cropping industries, said ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider.

“Total farm production is forecast to rise by 3 per cent to reach $60.3 billion in 2016–17, following a forecast increase of 9 per cent to $58.7 billion in 2015–16,” Schneider said, adding that the gross value of livestock production is expected to be $30.8 billion in 2016–17, up from $30.3 billion in 2015–16 on the back of continued demand for Australia’s livestock products.

The gross value of crop production is forecast to rise by 4 per cent to $29.5 billion in 2016–17 assuming a return to favourable seasonal conditions in most cropping regions.

“Earnings from farm exports are forecast to remain at around $45 billion in 2016–17, following a forecast rise of 3 per cent in 2015–16,” Schneider said.

According to her, export earnings for crops are forecast to be $22.4 billion in 2016–17, slightly lower than a forecast $22.7 billion in 2015–16, because of falling world prices for crops as a result of plentiful global supply.

“Earnings for exports of livestock and livestock products are forecast to rise slightly to a record $22.6 billion in 2016–17, supported by firm international demand.”

The agricultural commodities for which export earnings are forecast to rise in 2016–17 are wool (up 7 per cent), dairy products (4 per cent), sugar (7 per cent), live feeder/slaughter cattle (9 per cent), cotton (22 per cent) and canola (13 per cent).

By 2020-21, the gross value of farm production is projected to be $58.5 billion (in 2015–16 dollars) in 2020-21, under the assumption of average seasonal conditions. This projected value is 11 per cent higher than the average of $52.6 billion over the five years to 2014–15 in real terms.

The value of farm exports is projected to be around $45.3 billion (in 2015–16 dollars) in 2020-21, also around 11 per cent higher than the average of $40.7 billion over the five years to 2014–15 in real terms.

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