Farm production value to hit record high

Farm production value to hit record high

The total value of Australian farm production is forecast to reach a record high in nominal terms of $53.7 billion in 2015–16, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said that farm production value directly supported the livelihoods of Australian farmers and regional communities, as well as making a powerful contribution to the national economy and the way of life for all Australians.

“The Australian Government understands the importance of that contribution that agriculture delivers to the national economy, year in year out,” Minister Joyce said.

“That is why this government has prioritised the opening of new export markets, reduced barriers to trade, prioritised investment in R&D and productivity and reduced the burden of red tape on producers by $24 million.

“Since the last election we have delivered free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea, opened six new live export markets in Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Cambodia and Thailand and worked consistently towards market access for a wide range of other commodities—from bovine genetics in Chile and grapes in Korea to cherries in Thailand and kangaroo meat to Peru.

“The latest ABARES figures forecast the total value of farm exports in 2015-16 to be $41.8 billion dollars.

“That’s money in the bank for the Australian farming and agribusiness sector at a time when it couldn’t be more important.”

Minister Joyce said expanding overseas market opportunities for Australian farmers was essential to the nation’s bottom line.
“Australian farmers are trading in a very competitive market and there are many factors that affect the prices they receive on the international market,” Minister Joyce said.

“This year, while the value of farm production is expected to reach record levels, the total value of farm exports is actually expected to ease slightly, down 1.4 per cent on 2014–15.

“While we’re seeing record prices for beef and veal and export prices are up for live cattle, wool, barley and canola, among others, global prices for wheat and sugar are expected to fall from the levels seen in 2014–15.

“That’s why we’re working hard to capitalise on the opportunities new FTAs with China, Japan and Korea are delivering.

“And that is one of the key reasons the government is developing the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper—to strengthen Australia’s productive capacity and competitiveness to supply international markets.”

The latest forecasts were released in ABARES Agricultural Commodities, available online:

First published in Leading Agriculture Issue 9