A strong Australian dollar kept downward pressure on export prices and a large international wheat pool kept wheat prices down. Domestic grain prices were also depressed due to high production levels of lower grade grain which was mainly the result of a poor growing season. Strong international demand saw increases in sugar and cotton prices.
The decline in crop value was highlighted by a decrease in the gross values of barley (down by 27%), grain sorghum (down by 42%) and oats (down by 25%). Although production of wheat rose 2% in 2009-10, its average price decreased by 22% to $219 per tonne. The gross value of barley decreased to $1.4 billion, with the average price falling by 26% to $172 per tonne. Production of grain sorghum fell by 41%, causing the total gross value to fall to $323 million. The gross value of Australian oats decreased to $188 million, with production rising by 2% but the average price falling by 27% to $159 per tonne.
These declines were in contrast to a $56.1 million increase in the value of rice (up by 163%). Sugarcane and cotton also rose from 2008-09 values, up by 34% and 24% respectively.