THE Federal Government’s commodities forecaster has tipped the Australian agricultural industry to have another record-breaking year, forecasting gross value of production to reach $73 billion in 2021-22.
ABARES executive director Dr Jared Greenville said if the September Quarter report proved to be accurate, then it will be the first time the agriculture sector has been valued at more than $70 billion.
“The forecast for next year is due to a combination of factors, all tumbling neatly into place,” Dr Greenville said.
“The value of livestock production is tipped to rise to $33.5 billion, an increase of 8 percent.”
The department is expecting saleyard prices to increase by 12pc, averaging 702c/kg, with re-stocker demand to continue increasing this year and ease in the first half of 2022.
Slaughter rates are forecast to increase slightly to 7 million head after falling to 6.6 million in 2020–21, the lowest since 1971–72.
“A good year means optimism at the saleyards, and many of our farmers are enjoying their second good year in a row. This has translated to record prices for young cattle as farmers look to restock,” Dr Greenville said.
Despite the optimistic forecasts for the domestic market, the live export industry is expected to have a similar year to 2020-21, which saw its value drop 24pc to $1.2 billion and the volume drop 37pc to 777,000 head.
The report says ongoing high cattle prices in Australia and COVID-19 restrictions in the industry’s biggest markets, Indonesia and Vietnam, were expected to supress demand from South-East Asia.
Dr Greenville said grains, sugar and cotton industries made a large a contribution to the forecast after a strong start to 2021.
“The value of crop production is set to rise by 7pc to $39.5 billion because of another near-record winter crop harvest, combined with strong global prices for grain, sugar and cotton,” he said.