Australian agricultural export earnings to rise

by World Grain Staff
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Australia’s agricultural export earnings are forecast to rise in 2011-12, despite uncertainty about the economic outlook for some major OECD countries.

The Agricultural commodities-September quarter 2011 report, released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) on Sept. 20, forecasts the value of agricultural exports to reach A$34.6 billion in 2011-12.

“This is a record for Australian export earnings in nominal terms and the second highest in real terms since 2002-03,” said ABARES acting Deputy Executive Director Terry Sheales.

This forecast of agricultural export earnings in 2011-12 represents an increase of 6.5% from an estimated A$32.5 billion in 2010-11 and represents an upward revision from the forecast released in June by ABARES.

“While there is considerable uncertainty associated with the economic outlook for some major OECD countries, robust economic growth in the Asian region is expected to provide support to demand for Australian agricultural exports,” Sheales said.

The forecast increase in agricultural export earnings is supported by expected higher farm production and a favorable outlook for agricultural prices on world markets, which will more than offset the impact on revenues of a strong Australian exchange rate, especially against the U.S. dollar.

Agricultural commodities for which export earnings are forecast to rise in 2011-12 include wheat, wool, rice, canola, raw cotton and sheep meat.

Under the assumption of favorable seasonal conditions, crop production is forecast to rise by

3.8% in 2011-12, following a significant increase of 11.5% in 2010-11.

Production of livestock and livestock products is forecast to increase by around 1% in

2011-12, reflecting higher lamb and sheep turn-off rates and increased wool and milk production.

Agricultural commodities–September quarter 2011 is available at www.abares.gov.au/publications.
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