Summary of key Issues:
- The March 2013 issue of Agricultural commodities contains agricultural commodity forecasts for 2012-13 and 2013-14 and projections to 2017-18.
- Under the assumption of favourable seasonal conditions, export earnings from farm commodities are forecast to be around $35.6 billion in 2013-14, slightly lower than a forecast $35.9 billion in 2012-13.
- Commodities for which export earnings are forecast to rise in 2013-14 include barley (4 per cent), wine (7 per cent), beef and veal (2 per cent) and wool (17 per cent). Offsetting these rises are forecast falls in export earnings from canola (13 per cent), wheat (8 per cent), rice (17 per cent), grain sorghum (7 per cent), raw cotton (15 per cent) and sugar (5 per cent).
- The gross value of farm production is forecast to be around $47.7 billion in 2013-14, following a forecast decline of 4.5 per cent to $46.8 billion in 2012-13.
- The gross value of crop production is forecast to increase by around 1 per cent to $27.3 billion in 2013-14, following a forecast decline of 2.4 per cent in 2012-13. The gross value of livestock production is forecast to increase by 3.5 per cent to $20.4 billion in 2013-14, after a forecast decline of 7.3 per cent in 2012-13.
- At the national level, average farm cash income for broadacre farms is projected to decline from a recent high of $109 200 per farm in 2011-12 to around $100 000 per farm in 2012-13.
- Reductions in average farm cash income are projected for broadacre farms in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia due to lower livestock and wool prices and a reduction from historically high crop production in 2011-12.
- At the national level, average cash income for dairy farms is projected to be around $95 000 per farm in 2012-13, down from $143 200 per farm in 2011-12.
- Australia has maintained its productivity and competitiveness against key competitors over the long term. However, past productivity growth rates may become more challenging to maintain and may depend more on new advances in technology.