Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Agricultural output is forecast to fall by $16b this fiscal year due to dry conditions in the spring

  • David Galliano, acting executive director of ABARES, said: “Dry conditions and low commodity prices will reduce the value of agriculture to around $78 billion in 2023-24, compared to $96 billion the previous year.”
  • Crop production is down $12b, livestock is down $4b.
  • Agricultural output will drop to $78b this fiscal year.

The main reason was the large drop in crop production due to El Niño and the Indian Ocean Bipolar Climate, which resulted in very dry spring conditions in much of Australia, but livestock producers were also affected.

Mr. Galliano says, “In terms of crops, it is all over and cattle, a $12 billion decrement in the value of crops and a $4 billion decrement in cattle”.

Winter crops have declined significantly

Winter crops were harvested quickly and early, partly because of the hot, dry finish and low yields, but better machinery and greater access to labor speeded things up.

Crop exports are expected to decline by $11 billion due to increased production overseas and lower global prices.

The United States, Brazil and Argentina have record production of corn and soybeans, but the price of some Australian exports, such as rice and sugar, will remain high due to restrictions on rice exports from India and problems with ocean cargo clearance. Brazil restricts sugar exports.

Good rains in recent weeks have changed the situation in some areas.

This has prompted some cotton growers in northern NSW and southern Queensland to sow the crop late, although the crop is expected to be slightly lower than last year.

A dry spring means irrigation water is scarce in Queensland, so cultivated area has declined by 28 percent in that state.

Horticultural production reaches record levels as domestic consumption of fruits and vegetables continues to rise.

It is projected to increase by $800 million to $17 billion.Wine is turning the corner, with production projected to increase by $100 million to $1 billion as disease impacts from the dry climate ease.

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