Farm export returns to ease in 2014–15

9 December 2014

Earnings from farm exports are forecast to fall by 8.6 per cent in 2014–15 to around $37.6 billion, according to the December ABARES Agricultural Commodities report.

ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said the decline in earnings came alongside a forecast decline in the total volume of farm production of 5.9 per cent in 2014–15.

"2013–14 was a particularly strong year for Australian agriculture, with estimated record high crop production," Ms Schneider said.

"At the forecast level, farm export earnings in 2014–15 would remain approximately 4 per cent above the 10 year average to 2013-14.

"Export earnings for crops are forecast to decline to around $19.3 billion in 2014–15 from $22.8 billion in 2013–14," Ms Schneider said.

Export earnings in 2014–15 are forecast to fall for cotton (down 37 per cent), canola (44 per cent), barley (36 per cent), wheat (10 per cent), dairy products (20 per cent) and wool (6.2 per cent).

"The export value of livestock and livestock products is forecast to decrease slightly in 2014–15 to $18.3 billion. Higher export earnings from total meat and live animals are expected to be more than offset by declines in earnings from dairy products, wool and other livestock products."

Contributing to the forecast fall in export earnings, the index of unit returns for Australian farm exports – a measure of the price received by exporters – is forecast to decline by 1.8 per cent in 2014–15, following a rise of 7.4 per cent in 2013–14.

"Higher export prices in 2014–15 for beef, wine and mutton are expected to be more than offset by lower prices for wheat, cotton, barley and canola," Ms Schneider said.

"However the assumed weaker value of the Australian dollar in 2014–15 is expected to partially offset weaker world prices in US dollar terms for such commodities as grains, oilseeds, cotton, sugar and dairy products."

The full report is available on the ABARES website: agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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