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Australia Exports Expected to Ease on Back of Strong Year

01 October 2014

AUSTRALIA - The latest ABARES Agricultural Commodities report forecasts a 5.3 per cent decrease in total farm production in 2014-15.

ABARES Chief Commodity Analyst, Jammie Penm, said the decline in production volume would return agricultural production to 2012-13 levels, still 9.3 per cent above the 10 year average to 2012-13.

"Alongside the expected decline in farm production volumes, there is also a forecast decline in the prices received for Australian exports in 2014-15," Mr Penm said.

"These factors are contributing to an expected decline of 7.7 per cent in farm export earnings in 2014-15, to around $37.9 billion.

"This is still around 7 per cent above the 10 year average to 2012-13 for total Australian farm export earnings in real terms."

Mr Penm said the forecast decline in farm production in 2014-15 reflects expected falls in both crop and livestock production from the estimated record highs in 2013-14.

"In 2014-15 crop and livestock production are forecast to decline by 7.9 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively," Mr Penm said.

ABARES forecasts the index of unit returns for Australian farm exports – a measure of the prices received for exports – to decline by 3.6 per cent in 2014-15, following a rise of 7.4 per cent in 2013-14.

"Higher export prices in 2014-15 for beef, wool and sheep meat are expected to be more than offset by lower prices for wheat, cotton, barley, sugar and dairy products," Mr Penm said.

The forecast fall in total export earnings reflects expected falls in export earnings for barley (down 42 per cent), canola (41 per cent), cotton (29 per cent), mutton (20 per cent) and wheat (8 per cent).

Export earnings are forecast to increase for lamb (up 2 per cent), live feeder/slaughter cattle (7 per cent) and live sheep (24 per cent) in 2014-15.

"For fisheries products, export earnings are forecast to decrease by 3.8 per cent in 2014-15 to around A$1.3 billion, following an increase of 11 per cent in 2013-14," Mr Penm said.

In addition to commodity forecasts, the Agricultural Commodities September quarter 2014 includes information on foreign investment in the Australian dairy industry and the proportion of Australian food production exported.

The full report is available on the ABARES website.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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