CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Rains are expected to let up with the easing of La Niña, but Australia’s bumper crop production will continue to flow from good soil moisture going forward, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

The record-breaking streak for Australian agriculture is set to continue in 2022-23 with the sector expected to reach A$90 billion.

“Australia is benefiting from a third consecutive year of high rainfall, and it shows in the figures,” said Jared Greenville, executive director at ABARES, who noted record gross value of production is expected despite the floods across eastern Australia. “Once again, we’re seeing record levels of production, driven by exceptional growing conditions and high commodity prices.”

Australia’s agricultural exports also are forecast to set new records, reaching $75 billion in 2022–23, which is the first time exports have exceeded $70 billion. Driven by “exceptional” results from Western and South Australia, the 2022-23 winter crop is estimated at a record 67.3 million tonnes, topping last year’s record by 4 million tonnes.

Production of wheat and canola are estimated to have reached new records, while we can expect the third highest barley production on record,” Greenville said.

While this is likely the “last hurrah” for the La Niña rain system for a while, leading to drier seasonal conditions going forward, Greenville said production will continue to benefit from good soil moisture and high water storage levels. Production value is forecast to be lower in 2023–24, at $81 billion, but that would still be the third highest on record.

Over the medium term to 2027–28, seasonal conditions are expected to return to a more normal sequence, and commodity prices are expected fall. The value of agriculture will remain strong, reaching $74.4 billion in real terms.

“Australia has been very fortunate to have had wet years and high commodity prices, but we are expecting commodity prices to ease with competition stepping up in global markets,” he said. “Recent high international prices have been driven by drought conditions in major exporters and disruptions from the war in Ukraine, but seasonal conditions are expected to improve in major producing regions, which will see major exporters getting back on track in 2023–24.”