Crops top­ple beef ex­ports from top spot

Tasmanian Country - - THE STOCK REPORT -

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.

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