The Federal Government’s commodity forecaster predicts farm production is set for a record $63.8billion in the 2016-17 financial year.
The latest forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences were released ahead of its two-day Outlook 2017 conference in Canberra last week.
Even though production is expected to be slightly smaller in 2017-18, at $61.3billion, ABARES executive director Peter Gooday said this would be 17.3 per cent higher than the average over the previous five years to 2015-16.
‘‘The exceptional value of farm production this year comes off the back of record crop production and strong performance across livestock industries,’’ he said.
Crop production is forecast to increase by 20.2 per cent this financial year to $33.9billion, following record production of wheat and barley.
Export earnings from farm commodities are forecast to reach a record $48.7billion in 2017-18, topping the $47.7billion seen for 2016-17.
Prominent economist at Deloitte Access Economics Chris Richardson gave a ‘big picture’ view of the economy after last week’s figures showed a 1.1 per cent rebound in economic growth in the final three months of 2016.
The national accounts show production in agriculture, forestry and fishing rose 8.3 per cent in the December quarter, the strongest among all industries and more than double that of mining in second place at 3.4 per cent.