The gross value of Australian farm production is forecast to increase by 8.3 per cent to a record $63.8 billion in 2016–17, easing slightly to $61.3 billion the following year.
ABARES Executive Director, Peter Gooday, said that even with the forecast decline in 2017–18, the gross value of farm production would be 17.3 per cent higher than the average of $52.3 billion over the five years to 2015–16.
“The exceptional value of farm production this year comes off the back of record crop production and strong performance across livestock industries,” Mr Gooday said.
“The gross value of crop production is forecast to increase by 20.2 per cent this financial year to $33.9 billion, following record production of wheat and barley.
“In 2017–18 we’re forecasting crop production to decrease to $30 billion, which would still be around 8 per cent higher than the average of $27.9 billion over the five years to 2015–16.
“The gross value of livestock production is forecast to decrease 2.6 per cent in 2016–17 as cattle and sheep numbers are rebuilt following high turnoff in recent years.
“The gross value of livestock production is forecast to increase by 4.4 per cent to $31.2 billion in 2017–18 as cattle slaughter rises after two years of declining turn-off and wool production rises.
“If realised, the gross value of livestock production in 2017–18 would be around 28 per cent higher than the average of $24.4 billion over the five years to 2015–16—very strong performance indeed.
“And the outlook for farm production in the medium term remains strong, with a gross value of $59.6 billion forecast for 2021–22, 8.6 per cent higher than the average over the five years to 2015–16.”
Mr Gooday said export earnings from farm commodities were forecast to reach a record $48.7 billion in 2017–18, topping the $47.7 billion forecast in 2016–17.
“Most of that increase has come from increased crop exports following an exceptional season,” Mr Gooday said.
In 2017–18 export earnings are forecast to rise for beef and veal (up 1 per cent), wool (10 per cent), dairy products (11 per cent), sugar (10 per cent), cotton (35 per cent), wine (5 per cent), lamb (3 per cent), live feeder/slaughter cattle (4 per cent), rock lobster (6 per cent) and mutton (1 per cent).
These forecast increases in 2017–18 are expected to be partly offset by expected declines in export earnings for wheat (down 9 per cent), coarse grains (11 per cent) and canola (6 per cent). Export earnings for chickpeas are also expected to decline 42 per cent as production volumes decline from record levels and international prices ease.