Agricultural exports tipped to grow 6%
The total value of agricultural, fisheries and forestry exports is forecast to reach $38.4 billion in 2011-12, an increase of about 6 per cent from $36.1 billion in 2010-11 despite an expected slowdown in world economic growth, according to ABARES.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences' December quarter Agricultural Commodities report forecast Australia’s farm export earnings would rise by around 6 per cent to $34.5 billion in 2011-12.
“This forecast increase in farm export earnings in 2011-12 reflects the combined effect of expected higher export shipments and relatively favourable agricultural prices,” said ABARES acting deputy executive director Terry Sheales. “Although OECD economic growth is set to slow considerably, demand for agricultural products in the Asian region is expected to remain strong.”
Australia exported more than 60 per cent of its farm exports to the Asian region in 2010-11.
Agricultural commodities for which export earnings are forecast to rise include wheat, barley, canola, rice, raw cotton, sugar, beef and veal and sheep meat.
Assuming continued favourable seasonal conditions, crop production is forecast to rise by around 6 per cent, following a significant increase of around 12 per cent in 2010-11.
Production of livestock and livestock products is forecast to increase by close to 2 per cent in 2011-12, reflecting higher lamb turn-off and increased wool and milk production.
The report also contains forecasts of increased export earnings from Australia’s fisheries and forestry sectors.
For fisheries exports, earnings are forecast to be around $1.4 billion, rising from $1.2 billion in 2010-11.
Export earnings from forest products are forecast to increase by around 2 per cent to $2.5 billion in 2011-12.