The gross value of Australia’s farm production is forecast to increase by 8 per cent in 2015–16 to around $57.1 billion, around 16 per cent higher, in nominal terms, than the five-year average, according to the September edition of ABARES’ Agricultural Commodities report.
ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said the positive forecast was bolstered by large increases in livestock value, as well as strong crop production.
“Favourable seasonal conditions, an assumed lower Australian dollar and strong international demand is expected to drive the value of Australian farm production in 2015–16,” Ms Schneider said.
“The value of livestock production is forecast to increase by around 11 per cent in 2015–16 to $29.1 billion, on the back of an expected increase in farmgate prices for beef cattle, lamb, sheep and wool.
“Also underpinning strong farm production is the increase in the gross value of crop production, expected to rise by 5 per cent in 2015–16 to $28.1 billion following generally favourable cropping conditions over winter.”
Export earnings are also forecast to rise across a range of commodities, including coarse grains (up by 9 per cent), wheat (4 per cent), wool (1 per cent), canola (2 per cent) and chickpeas (70 per cent).
“Export earnings from farm commodities are forecast to be around $43.4 billion, in nominal terms, in 2015–16—around 14 per cent higher than the five-year average of $38.2 billion,” Ms Schneider said.
“Export earnings for fisheries products are set to increase by 11 per cent to around $1.6 billion, after increasing by an estimated 10 per cent to $1.4 billion in 2014–15.
“These forecast increases are expected to be offset by forecast falls in export earnings from beef and veal (down by 3 per cent), dairy (4 per cent), lamb (1 per cent), sugar (2 per cent), live feeder/slaughter cattle (8 per cent), cotton (33 per cent) and mutton (13 per cent).”
The index of unit returns for Australian farm exports is forecast to rise by 4 per cent in 2015–16, following an estimated rise of 6 per cent in 2014–15. The forecast increase in 2015–16 mainly reflects the effect of an assumed decline in the Australian exchange rate, especially against the US dollar.
The forecasts were released in the September edition of Agricultural Commodities, which includes ABARES’ latest outlook for Australia’s key agricultural commodities in 2015–16.
Click here for the September edition of the Agricultural Commodities Report.
First published in Leading Agriculture Issue 12