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Australia's principal crops by volume of production in 2000-01 included sugar cane (28.1 million tonnes), wheat (22.1 million tonnes), barley (6.7 million tonnes), canola (1.8 million tonnes), and cotton lint (666,000 tonnes).
In terms of production from livestock, approximately 8.6 million cattle (including calves) were slaughtered in 2001-02, together with 14.5 million sheep, 17.4 million lambs and 5.4 million pigs. These livestock in total accounted for the production of almost 3.1 million tonnes of red meat.
Changes in the volume of aggregate agricultural production over time can be obtained using chain volume measures. Between 1990-91 and 1999-2000, the volume of agricultural production increased by 39%. During this period, the volume of total crop output increased by 68%, livestock slaughterings increased by 25%, while livestock products returned to the 1991 level after a decade of lower production.
Quantities of agricultural production are obtained from annual ABS agricultural commodity collections, other ABS collections, and some external sources. Most price information is obtained from non-ABS sources such as marketing boards, marketing reports, wholesalers, brokers and auctioneers. The scope of the annual agricultural commodity collections since 1993-94 has been establishments undertaking agricultural activity having an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more. The chain volume measures of output relate to that part of agricultural production sold outside the agricultural sector. They exclude the production of seed or plants used for future crops, and feed and fodder consumed or retained on farms.
A rise in the volume of production may not always be in the best interest of the producer. When a commodity has a large share of either the domestic or world market, an increase in supply can cause a fall in the price of the commodity, unless demand also increases. However, the majority of Australia’s farm commodities do not have a large share of the world market. The quantity of these commodities exported can increase without having a significant effect on the supply of the commodity on the world market and therefore little effect on the price received. Australian producers are more price takers than price makers in the international commodity market.
Agriculture, Australia (7113.0)
Provides detailed statistics on crops, livestock and livestock products; characteristics of farms; and some land management practices. Also included are detailed statistics on the financial performance of agricultural industries, the value of agricultural commodities produced (VACP) and summary trade data.
Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0)
Provides final estimates for major agriculture outputs and activity. The 1999-2000 edition contains tables and commentary on agriculture industry structure, area and production of crops, livestock numbers, livestock products, value of commodities produced, land management and trade.
Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0)
Provides statistics on livestock slaughterings, meat production, milk and wool, and export data on live sheep, cattle and meat.
Australian Commodities Forecasts and Issues (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, quarterly)
Contains Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) forecasts and historical data for agriculture and resource commodities. Includes data on quantity and value of production, quantity and value of exports, value of imports of selected commodities, annual and quarterly prices and world production and consumption, stocks and trade for selected commodities.