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Grain to push rural exports to   $38.9b: forecaster
Grain to push rural exports to $38.9b: forecaster

The value of rural exports in 2012-13 is expected to be about $38.9 billion, one per cent lower than a year earlier, the Federal Government's commodity forecaster says.

However, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said the result would still be 21 per cent higher than the most recent five-year average.

ABARES executive director Paul Morris, in releasing the September quarter agricultural commodities report yesterday, said despite a slowdown in world income growth, Australia's rural exports were expected to remain strong.

"This is largely reflected by continued demand growth in the Asian region and markedly higher export prices for grains and oilseeds," he said in a statement.

The value of farm exports is forecast to be $35.2b in 2012-13, slightly lower than the recent high of $35.9b in 2011-12, but about 24 per cent higher than the partly drought-affected average of $28.4b in the five years ending 2010-11.

The value of crop exports is forecast to remain at a high of $21b in 2012-13, supported by the export of the bumper 2011-12 winter grain crop and markedly higher world prices of grains and oilseeds.

World prices have risen sharply over the past few months due to adverse seasonal conditions in the United States and the Black Sea region.

Export earnings from livestock and livestock products are forecast to be about $14.2b in 2012-13, compared with an estimated $14.7b in 2011-12.

Although export prices for livestock and livestock products are forecast to be generally weaker, the impact on export earnings is expected to be mostly offset by forecast higher export shipments.

Farm commodities for which export earnings are forecast to increase in 2012-13 include wheat (15 per cent), rice (6 per cent), grain sorghum (19 per cent), wine (one per cent) and sheep meat (3 per cent).

Forest and fisheries products export earnings in 2012-13 are forecast to rise by 5.2 per cent and 4.6 per cent to $2.3b and $1.3b, respectively.

The West Australian

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