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Agricultural commodities: March quarter 2015

This report contains ABARES' latest outlook to 2019-20 for Australia's major agricultural commodities. In addition, this publication includes articles titled Farm performance: broadacre and dairy farms, 2012-13 to 2014-15, Productivity in the broadacre and dairy industries, Profitability and productivity in Australia's beef industry and boxes titled Key agricultural outcomes of recent free trade agreements and Use and supply of barley in China.

A limited number of printed copies will be available by contacting info.abares@agriculture.gov.au

Key Issues Commodity outlook
• Export earnings from farm commodities are forecast to be about $40.5 billion in 2015-16 compared with a forecast $40.3 billion in 2014-15. • Agricultural commodities for which export earnings are forecast to rise in 2015-16 include wheat (up by 12 per cent), sugar (11 per cent), canola (10 per cent), dairy products (8 per cent) and beef and veal (2 per cent). These forecast increases are expected to be largely offset by forecast falls in export earnings for mutton (39 per cent), cotton (35 per cent), barley (11 per cent) and lamb (8 per cent). • At the end of the outlook period (2019-20), the value of farm exports is projected to be around $41.2 billion (in 2014-15 dollars), 9 per cent higher than the average over the five years to 2013-14. • The gross value of farm production is forecast to increase by 5.3 per cent to around $54.4 billion in 2015-16, following a forecast decrease of 2.9 per cent to $51.6 billion in 2013-14. • The gross value of livestock production is forecast to increase by around 5.6 per cent to $25.9 billion in 2015-16, following a forecast increase of 5.9 per cent in 2014-15. The gross value of crop production is forecast to increase by 5.1 per cent to $28.5 billion in 2015-16, after a forecast decrease of 9.6 per cent in 2013-14. • Export earnings for fisheries products are forecast to increase by 8 per cent to around $1.5 billion in 2015-16, after increasing by a forecast 3 per cent in 2014-15. • The outlook for agricultural commodities is based on the assumption that world economic activity will increase by 3.3 per cent in 2015, the same growth rate as in 2014. World economic growth is assumed to strengthen to 3.8 per cent in 2016, before easing gradually to 3.5 per cent towards 2020. • In Australia, economic activity is assumed to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2014-15, strengthening to 3.5 per cent by 2016-17. Toward 2019-20, economic growth is assumed to average around 3.2 per cent a year. • The Australian dollar is assumed to average around US76c in 2015-16, compared with an assumed average of US83c in 2014-15. It is assumed to average around US76c from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

Farm financial performance
• Using data from the most recent Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey (AAGIS), ABARES has made projections of average farm cash income for Australian broadacre farms in 2014-15. It is projected that average farm cash income will decline in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales but increase in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. • For Australia as a whole, the average farm cash income of Australian broadacre farms in 2014-15 is projected to be around $114 000 a farm, a fall of 9 per cent from an estimated $124 600 a farm in 2013-14. • It is projected that average farm cash income of dairy farms will decline from an average of $163 900 a farm in 2012-13 to an average of $97 000 a farm in 2014-15, reflecting lower farmgate milk prices. • Broadacre farm debt is estimated to have remained largely unchanged in 2013-14, averaging around $512 500 a farm at 30 June 2014.

Productivity in Australia's broadacre and dairy industries
• Productivity in the broadacre industries grew by 1.1 per cent a year on average between 1977-78 and 2012-13. • This broadacre productivity growth reflects a decline in the use of inputs (-1.0 per cent a year) while achieving modest output growth (0.1 per cent a year). • Dairy industry productivity grew at an annual average rate of 1.7 per cent between 1978-79 and 2012-13. This reflects strong output growth (1.3 per cent a year) and a small reduction in the use of inputs (-0.4 per cent a year).

Profitability and productivity in Australia's beef industry
• Average profitability in the beef industry has been low for many years. At the farm level, technological progress appears to be relatively slow. There is a large proportion of small, generally unprofitable farms that significantly reduce the average profitability per farm for the whole industry.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Agricultural commodities: March quarter 2015
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Data Status inactive
Update Frequency quarterly
Landing Page https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/fb67bda7-cc94-4296-b8c3-c8140dae04b1
Date Published 2018-07-18
Date Updated 2018-07-18
Contact Point
Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences
dataman@agriculture.gov.au
Temporal Coverage 2015-03-03
Geospatial Coverage Australia
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences