Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
It’s set to be a record-breaking year for Australian farmers thanks to strong growing conditions and high global prices according to a report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). If forecasts are realised, Australia’s agricultural production will reach a record $78 billion in 2021/22, with the most valuable winter crop ever expected worth $22.3 billion.
Meanwhile, agricultural exports are also likely to hit a record $61 billion. ABARES executive director Jared Greenville said the good results are expected to be enjoyed across livestock and cropping, with 30-year price highs being experienced. The report released on Tuesday found production shortfalls in the global grain supply, particularly of wheat and canola, with reduced supply meaning higher international prices.
While analysts concluded that the winter crop will be only slightly larger than the previous record in 2016/17, prices are forecast to be 35 per cent higher. The forecasts come despite losses and quality downgrades from recent flooding and inundation along the east coast. Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the latest ABARES forecasting confirms the recent heavy rain has hurt eastern state producers, but that agriculture nationally is enjoying exceptional growing conditions and high world commodity prices.
The report found La Nina conditions will see above-average rain continue to fall in eastern and northern Australia bringing with it good growing conditions in 2022. While stored irrigation water is at its highest level since the 2017/18 peak. However, producers are expected to see global fertiliser prices continue to rise, partly because of restrictions on the amount of fertiliser being exported by China and Russia – the world’s two largest producers. There is uncertainty about how long prices will remain at these levels – and supply chain disruptions, higher fertiliser prices and heavy rainfall domestically will continue to be watchpoints.