Australia’s agricultural sector is set to achieve a significant milestone with a forecasted nominal gross value of $85 billion in 2024-25, marking a 6% increase from the previous year. This growth highlights the resilience and adaptability of Australian agriculture amidst varying climatic and market conditions. Here, we delve into the key commodities driving this robust agricultural production and the impact of climate conditions.

Strong Production Forecast of 3 Different Key Commodities

1. Grains and Oil Seeds: A Pillar of Agricultural Output

Grains and oil seeds continue to be fundamental to Australia’s agricultural economy, with wheat, barley, and canola being the most significant contributors.

  • Wheat and Barley: The combined value of wheat and barley production is forecasted to rise by approximately $400 million due to favourable climatic conditions leading to increased volumes. Wheat remains the dominant crop, widely exported and vital for both domestic and international markets. Barley, essential for livestock feed and the brewing industry, also shows promising growth.
  • Canola: Canola production is expected to contribute $4.1 billion to the agricultural sector, an increase of around $300 million. Canola oil’s versatility and health benefits drive its strong demand both locally and globally.

2. Horticulture: Growth Driven by Favourable Conditions

Horticulture, encompassing fruits, vegetables, and nuts, is another significant contributor to Australia’s agricultural revenue.

  • Fruits and Vegetables: The value of horticultural production is anticipated to grow by $600 million to reach $17.8 billion. Higher yields from improved weather conditions benefit fruit growers, particularly those producing citrus, berries, and avocados.
  • Nuts: Australia’s nut industry, including almonds and macadamias, continues to flourish, driven by health trends and strong export demand.

3. Livestock: Rebounding Prices and Increased Production

Despite challenges in the previous year, the livestock sector is set to recover, with prices for cattle, sheep, and other livestock expected to rebound.

  • Cattle and Calf Production: The value of cattle and calf production is forecasted to increase by $3 billion, reaching $14.6 billion. This growth is attributed to a 21% rise in average annual prices as the high turn-off rates from the previous year decrease.
  • Sheep and Lamb Production: Sheep and lamb production is expected to see an increase in value by $758 million to $4.3 billion. Sheep prices are projected to rise by 34%, and lamb prices by 16%, nearing the levels observed in 2022-23.
  • Pork, Poultry, and Eggs: Predominantly catering to domestic markets, pork, poultry, and egg production volumes are forecasted to grow by 2%. Despite a slight decrease in prices, the overall value is expected to increase by $120 million to $7 billion.
  • Wool: The wool sector is set to increase by approximately $130 million to $3 billion, driven by strong international demand and higher prices, although production volume may slightly decline.
  • Dairy: In contrast, the value of milk production is forecasted to fall by $420 million to $5.5 billion due to lower export prices impacting farmgate prices.

Impact of Climatic Conditions on Production

The agricultural forecast reflects a positive outlook, particularly with expected favourable climatic conditions in 2024-25. These conditions are projected to enhance crop yields and pasture growth, countering the previous year’s challenges of drier weather.

  • Winter and Summer Crops: The winter crop production saw a significant reduction by 32% to 46.7 million tonnes in 2023-24 due to drier conditions. However, this figure aligns with the 10-year average. The summer crop is expected to remain well above its 10-year average, with production forecasted at 4.3 million tonnes despite a 17% decline.
  • Overall Crop Production: The nominal value of crop production is forecasted to increase by 2% to $49 billion in 2024-25. This is a rebound from an 18% decline in 2023-24, driven by improved weather and higher production volumes, despite lower global prices. 

Economic and Market Dynamics

Economic factors and market dynamics play a crucial role in shaping the agricultural sector’s outlook. The easing of international prices for grains is expected, impacting domestic prices but still supporting increased production volumes.

  • Global Production and Prices: Lower average prices are anticipated as global production rises. However, the increase in production volumes is expected to offset the impact of lower prices.
  • Livestock Market: The livestock market is forecasted to rebound with saleyard prices returning close to long-term average levels. This recovery is essential for driving the 12% increase in the nominal gross value of livestock and livestock products to $36 billion in 2024-25. 

Farm Performance and Economic Resilience

Broadacre farm cash income is projected to increase by 47% to an average of $192,000 per farm in 2024-25. This significant recovery follows a challenging 2023-24, where average farm incomes were forecasted to be more than 50% below the record levels of 2020-21 to 2022-23.

  • Input Costs and Production Volumes: Relatively elevated input costs and lower production volumes for crops in the previous year were key factors impacting farm incomes. The rebound in 2024-25 reflects stronger crop yields, higher livestock prices, and increased production volumes.

Wrapping Up,

Australia’s agricultural sector is poised for growth, with a forecasted nominal gross value of $85 billion in 2024-25. The sector’s resilience, driven by diverse and high-quality commodities, technological advancements, and favourable climatic conditions, underscores its critical role in the national economy. From grains and livestock to horticulture and dairy, each commodity contributes to the vibrant and dynamic landscape of Australian agriculture. The future looks promising, with opportunities for continued growth and innovation amidst the challenges of global market dynamics and climatic variability. For more insights into Australia’s dynamic agricultural sector and opportunities for investment, visit KG2 Australia. Stay informed and stay ahead with KG2 Australia, your trusted partner in agricultural intelligence.