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7111.0 - Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2004-05  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/11/2005   
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MEDIA RELEASE

November 30, 2005
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
128/2005
Sheep and meat cattle numbers up in 2004–05, but winter crops down

Australia's sheep flock and meat cattle herd continued their recovery after the lows of 2003, but a drier winter saw some major crops fall from the previous year's high, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Major findings from the 2004-05 Agricultural Survey include:

Livestock:
  • Sheep and lamb numbers rose slightly to 103 million head in 2004-05, up for the second year after the low reached during the 2003 drought.
  • Meat cattle numbers rose slightly to 24.7 million head.
  • Milk cattle numbers fell slightly to 3.0 million head.
  • Pig numbers were steady at 2.5 million head.

Crops:
  • Wheat production fell to 22.6 million tonnes in 2004-05, down by 13% from the big crop of the previous year, with growers reporting dry conditions during the year.
  • Barley production fell to 7.7 million tonnes, down by 26% from the record crop of the previous year.
  • Sugar cane for crushing production rose by 4% to 38.6 million tonnes.
  • Cotton lint production rose by 57% to 497,000 tonnes due to improved conditions in late 2004.

Further details are in Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia (Preliminary) 2004-05 (cat. no. 7111.0),

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