Pos­i­tive growth in food ex­ports

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Aus­tralian agri-food ex­ports have grown for the eighth con­sec­u­tive year, ex­ceed­ing $50 bil­lion for the first time, with Vic­to­ria one of the key driv­ers be­hind the boom.

A Ru­ral Bank re­port re­vealed that the state reg­is­tered the largest growth in value across the coun­try, jump­ing $1.4 bil­lion in value, driven by growth in sheep meat and beef, which added a com­bined $780 mil­lion in value from last year.

Vic­to­rian wool ex­ports jumped $327 mil­lion in value to $2.11 bil­lion, while the $1.89 bil­lion dairy in­dus­try re­mained strong, with the growth ar­eas more than off­set­ting de­clines of $171 mil­lion in both canola and lentils.

The pos­i­tive growth na­tion­wide was de­spite a harsh drop in broad­acre crop ex­ports which lost $3.5 bil­lion in value through­out the fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘A de­cline was likely af­ter record high win­ter crop pro­duc­tion in the pre­vi­ous sea­son led to a com­pa­ra­ble record high in the vol­ume of grain ex­ported,’’ the re­port said.

‘‘In 2017-18 the vol­ume of grain pro­duced and ex­ported was lower by 35 per cent and 25 per cent, re­spec­tively.’’

The value of ex­ports of sheep meat and wool saw the largest in­crease, up 24 per cent and 22 per cent, as ex­cep­tion­ally strong de­mand for ex­ports drove sa­le­yard and auc­tion prices to record lev­els dur­ing the year.

‘‘Cat­tle in­dus­try ex­ports in­creased in value for the first time since 2014-15, up by 10.2 per cent, with strong de­mand from Ja­pan and China pro­vid­ing sup­port to prices in the face of strong sup­ply from Aus­tralia and other ma­jor ex­porters,’’ the re­port states.

For the first time since 2013-14 dairy ex­ports showed re­cov­ery, record­ing their first year of growth in four years.

China con­tin­ues to be Aus­tralia’s largest ex­port mar­ket, grow­ing 16 per cent to see $1.65 bil­lion worth of goods sent to the coun­try last fi­nan­cial year.

Ja­pan and the United States also reg­is­tered strong growth with dairy ex­ports in­creas­ing 9.5 per cent and 7.6 per cent re­spec­tively.

Although the over­all value of dairy ex­ports in­creased by 8.9 per cent, the vol­ume fell slightly by 0.2 per cent.

The value of cheese and curd ex­ports in­creased by 11.9 per cent, buoyed by an in­crease in vol­ume and value. The Ja­panese mar­ket ac­counted for 50 per cent of Aus­tralia’s cheese ex­ports and more than 30 per cent of the cheese im­ported by Ja­pan.

The out­look for dairy ex­ports has im­proved with ex­pected growth in global de­mand, led by China and Ja­pan.

‘‘Although pro­duc­tion in­creased in 2017-18 there is still a need for more milk sup­ply to meet Aus­tralia’s grow­ing ex­port de­mand. This is ex­pected to cre­ate strong com­pe­ti­tion be­tween milk pro­ces­sors, re­sult­ing in higher farm gate milk prices,’’ the re­port said.

In­ter­na­tional part­ners also took in­ter­est in Aus­tralia’s grow­ing wine in­dus­try, with wine ex­ports up al­most a fifth, driven by a grow­ing de­mand for red wine in China.

Crisp start . . . Frosty morn­ings con­tin­ued across the re­gion late last week, with Be­nalla pho­tog­ra­pher Rene Martens cap­tur­ing the lift­ing of early morn­ing fog.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.