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Agricultural exports to remain strong

Oil seed exports are tipped to help keep Australia's agricultural exports strong throughout next year.
Oil seed exports are tipped to help keep Australia's agricultural exports strong throughout next year. Contributed

AUSTRALIA'S export earnings from agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors are forecast to remain strong in 2012-13, according to the Agricultural commodities - September Quarter.

Released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences today, the report finds exports earnings from the agricultural, fisheries, and forestry sectors are forecast to be around $38.9 billion in 2012-13, which is a 1% decline on 2011-12 exports but 21% higher than the average over the previous five years (to 2010-11).

ABARES executive director, Paul Morris, 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," Mr Morris said.

"The value of farm exports is forecast to be around $35.2 billion in 2012-13, slightly lower than the recent high of $35.9 billion in 2011-12.

"At this forecast level, the value of farm exports in 2012-13 will be around 24% higher than the partly drought-affected average of $28.4 billion in the five years ending 2010-11."

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

Because of adverse seasonal conditions in the United States and the Black Sea region, world prices have risen sharply over the past few months.

Export earnings from livestock and livestock products are forecast to be around $14.2 billion in 2012-13, compared with an estimated $14.7 billion 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%), rice (6%), grain sorghum (19%), wine (1%) and sheep meat (3%).

For forest and fisheries products, export earnings in 2012-13 are forecast to rise by 5.2% and 4.6% to $2.3 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Agricultural commodities-September quarter 2012 is available at www.daff.gov.au/abares/publications

Topics:  business commodities exports grains outlook