China still top market for farm exports

·3-min read

China remains Australia's most lucrative export market for farmers despite ongoing trade restrictions, while almost every state hit new records.

The latest insights from Rural Bank's agricultural trade report for 2021/2022 found Australia's agricultural exports hit a record high of $67.5 billion, up 37 per cent from the previous year.

Rural Bank's Simon Dundon said a lower Australian dollar, increased production and higher commodity prices all helped lift the value of exports by $18.2b.

"Cropping for the last few years were a standout, but really across the 12 commodities we researched everything increased other than wine," he told AAP.

Cotton led the charge among the exports measures, with volume increases of more than 200 per cent in the year, at the same time as prices rose by 16 per cent.

China was the largest growth market for agriculture exports and for the 12th consecutive year was Australia's most valuable market, worth $13.5b.

It far exceeded the $6.1b Japanese market, which grew by 38 per cent.

The $5.2b United States market also recorded strong growth with a rise of more than 30 per cent in terms of exports by value.

"The American market continues to develop a taste for clean, green, premium produce, with the US toppling China as our number one market for exports of both Australian lamb and wine," Mr Dundon said.

The report also compared each state, with Victoria retaining its crown as Australia's largest agricultural exporter.

The state recorded a 31 per cent increase in exports to a record high of $17.4b, more than a quarter of the national export value.

"Victoria has been consistently one of the highest export states and continues to be ... off the back of a big crop year and very strong dairy performances," Mr Dundon said.

NSW was the second best performer after a rise in cropping exports of more than 110 per cent.

Every state except Tasmania hit record growth in export value. Tasmania also became Australia's most valuable seafood exporter, while the Northern Territory's agricultural exports fell to their lowest values in almost a decade.

States where cropping activities dominate saw the largest growth in value, including Western Australia which overtook Queensland to be the third most valuable exporting state.

HOW THE STATES RANK:

* Victoria's the largest agricultural exporter with a record $17.4b value, and 26 per cent share

* NSW saw a third year of growth in a row, producing $12.6b and almost 20 per cent of total

* WA recorded the largest growth in exports, valued at $12.1b and 18.5 per cent share

* Queensland beef and cropping drove exports to reach $10.6b and around 16 per cent share of the total

* SA cropping also drove exports up by $1.5b to $7.5b and 11.4 per cent of total

* Tasmania produced more than $1b of exports, and 1.6 per cent of total

* NT agricultural exports declined for a second year to $413 million and 0.6 per cent