​Media Release

Australian farm production shows its resilience​

19 June 2018

  • Gross value of farm production forecast to increase to $61.4 billion in 2018–19, up from $60.5 billion in 2017–18 according to the ABARES Agricultural Commodities report
  • Barley, horticulture, lamb, milk, wheat and wool production value expected to rise
  • Farm export earnings forecast to be $47 billion, with higher export earnings for beef and veal, cheese, cotton, lamb and wool

Aussie farmers remain resilient, with ABARES forecasting a rise in the total value of farm production to $61 billion, well above the 10-year average.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said dry seasonal conditions during autumn had seen a shaky start to the crop season in eastern Australia, however overall crop value should remain unchanged.

"Farm production is on the up thanks to strong demand for Aussie lamb, wool and cotton across our international markets," Minister Littleproud said.

"Farm exports are expected to reach $47 billion in 2018–19. Cotton exports are forecast to rise by a huge 18 per cent to $2.6 billion thanks to world consumption outpacing world production, lifting prices.

"Wool exports are forecast to increase 9 per cent to $4.7 billion as limited growth in the world supply of fine and superfine wools lift prices.

"Lamb exports are forecast to rise by 10 per cent to $2.3 billion, while the value of beef and veal exports is forecast to increase by 2 per cent to $7.8 billion.

"Our farmers are already benefiting from current free trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea, and will get better access to key markets through the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"To ensure our farmers see the benefits of our free trade agreements I recently announced six additional agricultural counsellors to be on the ground in markets where we are negotiating free trade agreements.

"Some of our farmers are really copping it as drought conditions roll on and that’s why recently I announced $20.3 million to extend the Rural Financial Counselling Service to 2020.

"The Farm Household allowance remains on the table as an option for those doing it tough, helping over 7,900 since it was launched in 2013. Farmers must not self-assess for this service but should seek advice through the Department of Human Services."

The full June Agriculture Commodities is available on the ABARES website at www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-commodities-report.

Fast Facts:

  • Agricultural Commodities is a quarterly report that provides forecasts for the major agricultural commodities produced by Australian farmers.
  • According to the latest report:
    • Livestock production value is expected to rise 3 per cent in 2018–19 to $30 billion
    • Lamb and wool production are forecast to contribute strongly to growth, driven by price growth and a depreciating dollar.
    • Australian dairy is expected to grow in value, reflecting increased production.
    • The value of crop production is forecast to remain unchanged at $31 billion.
    • Australian wheat production is forecast to rise 3 per cent in 2018–19 to 21.9 million tonnes from the 2017–18levels.
    • Australian sugar production is forecast to increase by 2.8 per cent to 4.8 million tonnes in 2018–19 in the face of falling world prices.
    • Australian beef and veal production is forecast to increase 2.5 per cent to 2.3 million tonnes.
    • Farm export earnings are forecast to be $47 billion in 2018–19, 2 per cent lower than the forecast $47.8 billion last year and 4.4 per cent down on the peak of 2016-17.
    • Export earnings for fisheries products are forecast to increase to $1.6 billion, after increasing by 10 per cent in 2017–18.
    • Australian cotton exports are forecast to increase by 6 per cent in 2018–19 to 963,000 tonnes.
    • The value of wool exports is forecast to increase 9 per cent to $4.7 billion in 2018–19.​