Record year, but challenges remain

ABARES says value of Australian production to hit record $66 billion

Currently, Australia's agriculture sector is booming, with farmers expected to reap a record $66 billion for their produce this year. All this, despite trade tensions with China and the global pandemic.

Its latest outlook, released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) today, it shows 2020-21 will record a $5 billion jump on Australian farming's second most valuable year (2016-17).

A forecast all-time high $65.9 billion in production value this fiscal year confirms Australian agriculture is in the midst of an exceptional rebound from drought. quoted ABARES ’ acting executive director Jared Greenville as saying: “2020-21 is forecast to be an excellent year for Australian agriculture, with an expected eight per cent lift in production value on last year. The rebound from drought has been exceptional – in terms of the three consecutive years of decline and the sheer scale of the turnaround. Australia’s second largest winter crop of 55.2 million tonnes has catalysed this growth.”

“Shifting trade, along with macroeconomic and production uncertainties, will provide the backdrop for what we expect to be a more difficult environment in which to grow production and trade value. But over the longer term, we cannot forget that the fundamentals remain strong - middle income growth, urbanisation, population growth – will all be positive forces shaping sector fortunes. What will be important is creating the conditions to maximise the sector’s growth and contribution to the economy.”

“Innovating and meeting consumer expectations around what we produce and how we do it, along with ensuring our export systems are efficient and reward producers for the quality of their product, will all be important in growing value in an uncertain future.”

ABARES Outlook 2021 conference
At this week’s ABARES Outlook 2021 conference (2-5 March), the theme is Growing Australian agriculture in an uncertain world. On Tuesday 2 March, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud gave an opening address, and ABARES acting executive director Jared Greenville’s shared a scene-setting Agriculture Outlook statement.


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