Strong outlook for Australian agriculture

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Wet conditions across parts of the country haven’t dampened Australia’s agricultural outlook according to the latest report from Rural Bank.

Australian farmers continue to cash in on high commodity prices and strong production despite a volatile global environment, according to the bank’s half yearly outlook report.

Rural bank’s Andrew Smith says strong seasonal conditions for most of the country has seen strong results for farmers with forecasts that will continue.

“It’s a good outlook and quite positive, and it’s great to see this three years in a row for our producers … where we’ve had good conditions across both the seasons and commodity prices,” Mr Smith told AAP.

While heavy rainfall and flooding has provided a challenge for producers in Queensland and NSW, seasonal conditions are continuing to underpin strong production across most agricultural sectors.

The report doesn’t account for this week’s wet weather across NSW.

Wet conditions are forecast to continue through to September across much of the country with the chance of a third La Nina weather event over the summer.

Southern parts of Western Australia and Tasmania will likely see average rainfall.

The forecast is for above average Australian winter crop production for a third season in a row thanks to favourable weather conditions in most parts.

Horticulture is also expected to see a return to strong production, after flooding in Queensland recently impacted supply.

It’s expected the wet conditions will provide a boost to the nation’s cattle herd and sheep flock which are continuing to rebuild after the drought.

Mr Smith said beef, sheep meat, wool and dairy production were all forecast to deliver strong results in the second half of 2022.

He told AAP that while global trade conditions have been challenging for some exporters, Australia has also been able to diversify the number of countries it sells to over the past year.

“For example lamb, we’ve been growing pretty strongly our lamb exports into the US for the last couple of years, but this last 12 months we’ve seen markets like the UAE, South Korea, Malaysia, Saudia Arabia increasing as well.”

Australian sheep meat, almond, wool, lentil, and wine producers are expected to see big benefits from improved access to the Indian market with the recently signed interim Australia-India economic cooperation and trade agreement.

The report concluded the relationship with Australia’s largest trading partner China has shown no tangible signs of improvement with a range of tariffs in place on Australian barley, wine, lobster and beef.

It says little to no supply of grain available from Ukraine has driven strong demand for Australian grain, particular throughout Asia.

Mr Smith said seasonal conditions, trade conditions and supply chain disruptions would all continue to impact output in the second half of 2022.

Liv Casben
(Australian Associated Press)

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