7501.0 - Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary, 1998-99  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/1999   
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October 29, 1999
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Gross value of canola increased by 80% in 1998-99

A major increase in the production of canola, particularly in Western Australia, has resulted in the gross value of this crop rising by 80% to $590m in the 1998-99 year.

Australian Bureau of Statistics preliminary estimates, compiled using the latest production data available from the Agricultural Commodity Survey for the year ended 31 March 1999, show that, across all agricultural commodities, the gross value of Australian agricultural production was $29 billion. This was 4% higher than the previous year's figure of $28 billion.

On the strength of higher average prices and increased production, the gross value of wheat rose by 19% to $4.5 billion. Increased production also saw the value of grapes reach over one billion dollars ($1.1 billion) for the first time and the value of cotton lint rise to $1.7 billion, up 28% on the previous year. Against this, the value of barley continued to fall, down 19% to $860m and oats down 31% to $155m. Overall the gross value of crops increased by 8% to $16.7 billion in 1998-99.

The gross value of all livestock slaughterings and other disposals increased by 4% to $6.9 billion, assisted by an 8% increase in the value of cattle and calves slaughtered to $4.0 billion. An increase in poultry production and average prices resulted in the gross value of poultry reaching $1.2 billion.

Average wool prices fell in all States to produce a 23% decrease in the gross value of wool to $2.1billion. Although average milk prices decreased, the gross value of milk rose 3% to $2.9 billion on the strength of higher production for the year. As a result the gross value of livestock products overall decreased by 10% to $5.4 billion.

The preliminary estimate of gross value of agricultural production increased in all States except Tasmania which remained virtually unchanged. New South Wales, with gross value of agricultural production of $8.0 billion, accounted for 28% of the value of Australian agricultural production and was the highest contributor among all States.

Further details are in Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia 1998-99, Preliminary (cat. no. 7501.0) available from ABS bookshops. A summary of the main findings is available on this website. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main findings. Please phone us if you need help to do this.