AUSTRALIA’S agricultural exports are forecast to exceed $70 billion for the first time, in 2022-23, helped by increasing red meat and crop production in favourable price and seasonal weather conditions.
The ABARES September quarter Agricultural Commodities Report released today is forecasting agricultural export earnings to climb to a record $70.3 billion for 2022-23 – almost 50 percent more than what it was 10 years ago after accounting for inflation.
ABARES executive director Dr Jared Greenville said industry’s overall forecasted gross value of $81.8 billion shows it is performing strongly, with cropping leading the way.
“Winter crop prospects in Australia are looking very promising at the beginning of spring – we’re forecasting a 55.5 million tonne harvest.
“Meat production is also rebounding, with the national herd and flock returning to pre-drought levels,” Dr Greenville said.
“Favourable seasonal conditions are expected to persist, but global inflation and rising costs of farm inputs could cloud outlook for demand and farm incomes.
“It’s the first time our exports are expected to exceed $70 billion, showing the ability of our farmers to navigate considerable global economic uncertainty and to make a strong contribution to global food supplies.”
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the latest reports on Australian crops and commodities from ABARES showed the industry is performing strongly.
He said the combination of high yields and high exports is good news for Aussie farmers, rural communities and the Australia generally.
“It also means Australia can do its part in contributing to global food supply.
“We know trade and exports make all the difference in times of stress and food scarcity, and I couldn’t be prouder to see Australia pulling its weight.”
Livestock numbers climbing – Watt
Minister Watt said while cropping is leading the way on exports, it’s heartening to see livestock numbers rising as conditions are allowing our farmers to rebuild their herds to pre-drought levels.
Dr Greenville said the latest ABARES forecasts factored in tapering global growth – and the likelihood of a third straight La Niña, roughly a once in 30-year event.
“Widespread inflation and a sluggish Chinese economy are the main watchpoints,” he said.
“Global food and fertiliser prices remain very high despite falling from peaks earlier in 2022.
“The World Bank expects high global food prices through to the end of 2024 which will have adverse implications for global food security,” he said.
“We’re seeing Australian agriculture leaning into this uncertainty, with continued global demand for our food and fibre, another bumper winter crop and the forecast of continued favourable growing conditions.
“Three years of above-average rainfall and strong commodity prices globally will benefit our farmers as they navigate an increasingly complicated global situation,” Mr Watt said.
“We know our agriculture industry has its challenges, but this data shows the sector is in good shape.”
The value of cotton exports is forecast to reach a record $7 billion in 2022–23 to be the third most valuable export commodity after wheat ($11.7 billion) and beef ($10.2 billion).
“Harvesting delays mean most of the bumper 2021–22 cotton crop will be exported during 2022–23,” Dr Greenville said.
The ABARES September 2022 Australian Crop Report, also released today, is forecasting near record levels of wheat and canola production for 2022-23.
“For wheat we’re looking at 32.2 million tonnes, and for canola we’re expecting 6.6 million tonnes, just shy of the records last year,” Dr Greenville said.
“Barley production has also been strong and is forecast to reach 12.3 million tonnes, the fourth largest on record.”
Planting of summer crops in 2022–23 is forecast to be well above average, supported by available soil moisture and significant areas of land previously left fallow during winter.
Click here to view the September 2022 Agricultural Commodities Report – and here for the September 2022 Australian Crop Report.