7121.0 - Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2003-04  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2005   
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MEDIA RELEASE

June 28, 2005
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
76/2005

Barley and Wheat Leading Farm Sector Recovery: ABS

There were record harvests for wheat and barley, and a recovery in some livestock numbers according to the most recent (2003-04) Agricultural Survey final estimates released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Results from the Survey showed:

Crop production:
  • Wheat production increased by 158% to a record 26.1 million tonnes. The largest increases were reported in New South Wales (up 192%) and Western Australia (up 174%).
  • Barley production increased by 169% to a record 10.4 million tonnes, with all states reporting increased production.
  • Oats production increased by 111% to 2.0 million tonnes, the highest level reported since 1984.
  • Sugar cane production remained steady at 37.0 million tonnes.
  • Cotton lint production fell by 13% to 317,000 tonnes. Decreased production in New South Wales was only partly offset by increased production in Queensland.
  • For fruit: grape production rose by 35% to a record 2.0 million tonnes; orange production fell by 34% to 395,000 tonnes; and banana production fell slightly to 257,000 tonnes.
  • For vegetables: potato production rose by 5% to 1.3 million tonnes; tomato production rose by 30% to 474,000 tonnes; and onion production rose slightly to 233,000 tonnes.

Livestock production:
  • Sheep and lamb numbers increased to 101 million head, with lamb numbers up by 12%, but sheep numbers down slightly. The largest increases were reported in the main producing states of New South Wales (up 5% to 35.2 million) and Western Australia (up 5% to 25.1 million).
  • Meat cattle numbers increased by 3% to 24.4 million, with increases in Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania partly offset by falls in Victoria and South Australia. New South Wales remained steady.
  • Milk cattle numbers remained steady at 3.1 million head. Victoria, with 1.9 million head, had the majority of milk cattle.
  • Pig numbers fell by 4% to 2.5 million head. Falls were reported in all states except Queensland, which increased by 4% and replaced New South Wales as the main pig producing state.

More details are in Agricultural Commodities, Australia 2003-04 (cat. no. 7121.0).