Food on the roll

7 March 2017

Data presented at the 2017 ABARES Outlook conference point to record growth in Australia's agriculture sector.

According to forecasts in the March 2017 edition of Agricultural Commodities, the gross value of Australian farm production will increase by 8.3% to $63.8 billion in 2016-17, to then decline again slightly by 3.9% in the following year.

The good performance of the sector is also boosting the average cash income of Australian farms, to an average of $216,000 per farm in 2016-17.

According to the forecasts, exports of agricultural products are also to rise, to a total of $48.7 billion in 2017-18.

Australia's crop production benefited from unusually favourable seasonal rains, which led to an estimated 20% increase in production value in 2016-17. However, the report forecasts that this will come down again by around 11% to $30 billion in the following year.

The gross value of livestock production is set to increase by 4.4% to $31 billion in 2017-18. If realised this would be around 28% higher than the average of $24 billion over the five years to 2015-16 in nominal terms.

The strong performance of the agricultural sector is also good news for the broader economy - according to the recently published National Accounts figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture contributed 0.2% to the 2.4 growth of GDP so far recorded for the year.

More information: