Crops topple beef exports from top spot
CROPPING has overtaken cattle as Australia’s highest agricultural export earner.
A record grain harvest that almost doubled production in 2016-2017 contributed to the shift.
The sector is worth almost $50 billion, according to Rural bank’s 2016-2017 Australian Agriculture Trade Performance Report. The bank warns that cropping exports cannot be relied on to make up the slack created by declining markets.
The bank’s agribusiness manager Andrew Smith said the increase was largely thanks to an exceptional season.
The value of cropping exports rose by $3.7 billion, or 36.4 per cent, to $13.9 billion, with wheat export volumes up 40 per cent to 6.3 million tonnes and coarse grain exports 63 per cent to 3.8 million tonnes.
Cattle exports fell 16.6 per cent to $9.5 billion, with the biggest declines seen in the United States, down 39 per cent, and China, 20 per cent.