Exports to fall as herd and flock rebuild commences

18 June 2019

In 2019–20 agricultural export earnings are forecast to fall by 5% to $45 billion according to the latest Agricultural Commodities report released today.

ABARES’ Chief Commodity Analyst, Peter Gooday, said that while seasonal conditions have improved compared to this time last year, this is not expected to translate to an increase in the value of exports.

“The decline in export value is driven by a forecast 11% fall in the value of livestock exports. Turnoff and slaughter was high this year and producers will be looking to rebuild herds and flocks as seasonal conditions improve,” Mr Gooday said.

“Export earnings are forecast to decline for beef and veal, wool, lamb, mutton and live feeder cattle but strong demand from China and other export markets is expected to help keep prices high.

Export earnings from crops are forecast to increase by 3% in 2019–20, weighed down by a forecast $1.7 billion fall in the value of cotton exports following a significant fall in production this year.

“Winter crop prospects have improved this year, and we expect that to flow through to higher grain production and exports,” Mr Gooday said.

“We expect the value of wheat exports to be 24% higher in 2019–20, with export earnings for barley, sugar, canola, chickpeas and wine also forecast to increase.

“We aren’t expecting grain prices to be as good as last year—world export prices of wheat and coarse grains are forecast to fall due to high global production, and prices of oilseeds are forecast to fall as an outbreak of African Swine Fever reduces feed demand in China.

“Seasonal conditions are more favourable for the start of the 2019–20 winter season compared with last year. However, much depends on conditions during spring—in constructing these forecasts we have assumed average seasonal conditions for spring.”

The report is available at agriculture.gov.au/ag-commodities-report

Last reviewed: 11 November 2019
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