Livestock

Earnings tipped to fall

By Country News

Agricultural export earnings in 2019-20 are forecast to fall by five per cent to $45billion according to the latest Agricultural Commodities report.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences chief commodity analyst Peter Gooday said while seasonal conditions had improved compared to this time last year, this was not expected to translate to an increase in the value of exports.

‘‘The decline in export value is driven by a forecast 11 per cent fall in the value of livestock exports,’’ Mr Gooday said.

‘‘Turn-off and slaughter was high this year and producers will be looking to rebuild herds and flocks as seasonal conditions improve.

‘‘Export earnings are forecast to decline for beef and veal, wool, lamb, mutton and live feeder cattle but strong demand from China and other export markets is expected to help keep prices high.’’

The report said export earnings from crops was forecast to increase by three per cent in 2019-20, weighed down by a forecast $1.7billion fall in the value of cotton exports following a significant fall in production this year.

‘‘Winter crop prospects have improved this year, and we expect that to flow through to higher grain production and exports,’’ Mr Gooday said.

‘‘We expect the value of wheat exports to be 24 per cent higher in 2019-20, with export earnings for barley, sugar, canola, chickpeas and wine also forecast to increase.

‘‘We aren’t expecting grain prices to be as good as last year — world export prices of wheat and coarse grains are forecast to fall due to high global production, and prices of oilseeds are forecast to fall as an outbreak of African swine fever reduces feed demand in China.’’

■See the full report at: www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-commodities-report