Agricultural exports to exceed $70 billon

·3-min read

Australian agriculture continues to break new ground, with export earnings expected to be the highest on record while production will be worth $81.8 billion next year despite slowing global growth.

The outlook for 2022 and 2023 from the Australian bureau of agricultural and resource economics and sciences finds exports will climb to a record $70.3 billion, almost 50 per cent more than a decade ago.

ABARES executive director Jared Greenville says the forecasts factor in slowing global growth and the likelihood of a third straight La Nina, a once-in-a-30-year event.

"Widespread inflation and a sluggish Chinese economy are the main watchpoints," he said.

"Global food and fertiliser prices remain very high despite falling from peaks earlier in 2022."

Dr Greenville says cropping has helped propel exports to record levels, aided by high global prices, strong seasonal conditions and increased productivity.

"It's the first time they're over $70 billion, up on around $67 billion last year, and if we go back to 2021 they were down at $48 billion," he told AAP.

"Last year and this year's records have really been driven by our strong performance in crops."

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt says the numbers represent a remarkable achievement.

"We know our agriculture industry has its challenges but this data shows the sector is in good shape," he said.

ABARES found the value of cotton exports is forecast to reach a record $7 billion in 2022-23, becoming the third most valuable export commodity after wheat at $11.7 billion and beef at $10.2 billion.

The quarterly commodities report concludes that while meat production is rebounding, gross value of production is expected to fall nine per cent to $14.6 billion in the next financial year.

While lower demand from importing countries is expected to see live exports for beef and veal fall four per cent next year.

The report found the presence of foot and mouth in Indonesia has already reduced lot feeder demand for Australian cattle and live cattle in recent months.

Australian sheep meat production will drop seven per cent to $4.4 billion due to falling saleyard prices.

By contrast the value of Australian dairy production is forecast to increase 29 per cent from $4.8 billion in 2021-22 to a record $6.2 billion in 2022-23.

A rise in farmgate milk prices, up almost a third, is behind the increase.

The Australian crop report, also released by ABARES on Tuesday, is forecasting near record levels of wheat and canola production for 2022-23.

"For wheat we're looking at 32.2 million tonnes and for canola we're expecting 6.6 million tonnes, just shy of the records last year," Dr Greenville said.

KEY FINDINGS OF ABARES REPORT

* Production forecast to be second highest ever, exceeding $81 billion next year

* Value of exports to be a record $70.3 billion in 2022/23

* Favourable seasonal conditions in Australia to persist

* Global inflation pressures and farm inputs clouding outlook

* Wheat will be most valuable export, followed by beef and cotton

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

* Winter crop prospects promising with forecasted 55.5 million tonne harvest

* Summer crops for 2022/23 to be well above average