Farmgate value forecast to hit $65 billion next year

Barley ready to be harvested.
Camera IconBarley ready to be harvested. Credit: Cally Dupe

Australian farmgate production is expected to be $65 billion in 2020-21 on the back of the nation’s second largest winter crop and promising rainfall outlook.

ABARES’ December quarter 2020 Agriculture Commodities report pointed to continued recovery for the farming sector from drought.

“Overall, Australian agricultural production is bouncing back from the drought,” ABARES executive director Steve Hatfield-Dodds said.

“Australian producers manage one of the most variable environments in the world so ebbs and flows in production are to be expected.

“We’re expecting a near all-time high winter crop, the best ever in New South Wales, and a more favourable outlook for summer cropping than we have seen in recent years. Livestock prices have also stayed high with herd and flock rebuilding, and continued international demand.”

While production is forecast to rise by 7 per cent to $65 billion, exports are expected to fall by 7 per cent from last year to $44.7 billion. Dr Hatfield-Dodds said while exports continued to find markets during the pandemic, the residual effect of dry seasons and trade uncertainties were “pushing down export value”.

“Recovery from drought is limiting production and exports of livestock products and fibres,” he said.

“Meat prices are falling as the African Swine Fever impact on China’s pork production begins to lessen.

“There are a number of risks present for the rest of 2021 that remain a watch point, including wine trade with China and labour shortages for the horticulture sector.”

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