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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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Contents >> Agriculture >> Agricultural production

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

Crops

In 2005-06, 24.3 mill. ha was sown to crops, excluding land used for pastures and grasses. Western Australia cropped 8.0 mill. ha while New South Wales and South Australia used 6.6 mill. ha and 4.2 mill. ha respectively (table 16.8). Wheat was Australia's biggest crop in terms of area used with 12.7 mill. ha planted, or about half the land area dedicated to cropping. In production terms, sugar cane cut for crushing reaped the most plentiful harvest with 38.0 mill. tonnes (table 16.9).

16.8 Land use - Year ended 30 June 2006

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha

Area of farms(a)
61 169
13 396
154 127
55 533
99 162
1 764
57 574
81
442 805
Area planted to crops(b)
6 588
3 310
2 040
4 216
8 022
68
8
^4
24 255

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
(a) Total area of establishments with EVAO or a derived BAS turnover size of $5,000 or more.
(b) Excludes crops harvested for hay and seed, and pasture and grasses.
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).

16.9 SELECTED CROPS - 2005-06

Area
Production
'000 ha
'000 t

Crops for grain
Barley
4 481
9 641
Grain sorghum
792
1 999
Maize
69
370
Oats
945
1 723
Rice
100
982
Wheat
12 703
25 704
Lupins
853
1 357
Other crops
Sugar cane cut for crushing
406
37 990
Tobacco
1
3
Cotton lint
336
570
Peanuts (in shell)
12
23
Canola
996
1 454
Other fruit
Bananas
10
177
Pineapples
3
^175
Grapes (bearing)
158
1 981
Vegetables
Carrots
6
272
Potatoes
35
1 255
Tomatoes
8
449

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0), Vineyards Estimate, Australia (1329.0.55.002).


16.10 SELECTED ORCHARD CROPS - 2005-06

Number of trees
Production
'000
'000 t

Orchard fruit
Oranges
6 523
496
Apples
8 833
276
Pears (excl. Nashi)
1 466
139
Peaches
2 192
86

Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0); Vineyards Estimates, Australia (1329.0.55.002).


In Australia, cereals are divided into autumn-winter-spring growing (winter cereals) and spring-summer-autumn growing (summer cereals). In temperate regions winter cereals such as wheat, oats, barley and rye are often grown in rotation with pastures, such as subterranean clover, medics or lucerne, and with other winter crops such as canola, field peas and lupins. Rice, maize and sorghum are summer cereals, often being grown in rotation with winter cereals in some areas.

16.11 SELECTED CROPS, By state - 2005-06

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
Aust.(a)

Wheat

Production ’000 tonnes
7 936
2 972
1 278
3 888
9 593
34
25 704
Area ’000 ha
3 478
1 346
823
2 053
4 994
8
12 703

Oats

Production ’000 tonnes
630
334
7
125
619
9
1 723
Area ’000 ha
414
154
16
75
281
4
945

Barley

Production ’000 tonnes
2 312
2 017
187
2 578
2 517
28
9 641
Area ’000 ha
1 088
876
143
1 178
1 187
9
4 481

Grain sorghum

Production ’000 tonnes
887
^1
1 105
(b) -
^3
(b) -
1 999
Area ’000 ha
326
^ -
462
(b) -
^2
(b) -
792

Maize

Production ’000 tonnes
215
20
133
(b) -
2
(b) -
370
Area ’000 ha
31
2
36
(b) -
^1
(b) -
69

Rice

Production ’000 tonnes
966
16
(b) -
(b) -
-
(b) -
982
Area ’000 ha
98
2
(b) -
(b) -
-
(b) -
100

Oilseeds

Production ’000 tonnes
425
279
25
220
652
1
1 602
Area ’000 ha
283
198
18
153
462
1
1 115

Cotton lint

Production ’000 tonnes
344
(b) -
225
(b) -
-
(b) -
570
Area ’000 ha
200
(b) -
136
(b) -
-
(b) -
336

Sugar cane cut for crushing

Production ’000 tonnes
2 260
(b) -
35 298
(b) -
431
(b) -
37 990
Area ’000 ha
18
(b) -
384
(b) -
4
(b) -
406

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes NT and ACT.
(b) Data not collected.
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).

Wheat

Wheat is produced in all states but primarily on the mainland in a narrow crescent known as the wheat belt. Inland of the Great Dividing Range, the wheat belt stretches in a curve from central Queensland through New South Wales, Victoria and southern South Australia. In Western Australia, the wheat belt continues around the south-west of the state and some way north, along the western side of the continent.

Graph 16.12 shows wheat production in Australia from 1906 to 2006.

16.12 Wheat production(a) - 1906 to 2006
Graph: 16.12 Wheat production(a)—1906 to 2006

In 2005-06, farmers planted 12.7 mill. ha to wheat and harvested 25.7 mill. tonnes. Western Australia planted and harvested the most wheat followed by New South Wales and Victoria (table 16.11 and graph 16.13). In 2005-06, about 60% of Australia's wheat was exported for human consumption. A small proportion of production is used domestically for human consumption, with lower quality grain being used for domestic stock feed.

16.13 Wheat production and area, by state - 2005-06
Graph: 16.13 Wheat production and area, by state—2005–06
New varieties of wheat have enabled it to be grown in more marginal areas in recent years. In particular the development of dual purpose winter wheat varieties which, like oats, allow grazing of the plant up to a few months prior to harvest, have become very popular in some areas.

Oats

Oats are traditionally grown in moist, temperate regions. However, in recent years improved varieties and management practices have enabled oats to be grown over a wider range of soil and climatic conditions. Oats have a high fodder feed value and, with the exception of recently developed dual purpose varieties of wheat, produce a greater bulk of growth than other winter cereals. They need less cultivation, and respond well to superphosphates and nitrogen. Oats have two main uses - as a grain crop, and as a fodder crop. Fodder crops can either be grazed in the initial stages of growth and then locked up for a period prior to harvesting for grain, or else mown and baled for hay or cut for chaff.

The majority of Australian oats harvested for grain is used domestically for stock feed purposes. A small proportion of high quality grain is used either domestically or exported for human consumption.

In 2005-06, farmers planted 945,000 ha of oats and harvested 1.7 mill. tonnes. New South Wales produced the most oats (630,000 tonnes), just ahead of Western Australia (619,000 tonnes) (table 16.11 and graph 16.14).

16.14 Oats production and area, by state - 2005-06
Graph: 16.14 Oats production and area, by state—2005–06
Barley

This cereal contains two main groups of varieties, 2-row and 6-row (the number of rows referring to the number of rows of seed on each stalk). The former is generally, but not exclusively, preferred for malting purposes. Barley is grown principally as a grain crop, although in some areas it is used as a fodder crop for grazing, with grain being subsequently harvested if conditions are suitable. It is often grown as a rotation crop with wheat, oats and pasture. As barley has a short growing period, it may provide quick grazing or timely fodder supplies when other sources are not available. Barley grain may be crushed to meal for stock feed or sold for malting.

In 2005-06, 9.6 mill. tonnes of barley were harvested from 4.5 mill. ha (table 16.11 and graph 16.15). The largest areas planted were in Western Australia (1.2 mill. ha), South Australia (1.2 mill. ha), and New South Wales (1.1 mill. ha). Production was highest in South Australia with 2.6 mill. tonnes, followed by Western Australia and New South Wales, 2.5 mill. tonnes and 2.3 mill. tonnes of barley respectively.

16.15 Barley production and area, by state - 2005-06
Graph: 16.15 Barley production and area, by state—2005–06
Grain sorghum

The sorghums are summer growing crops which are used in a number of ways: grain sorghum for grain; sweet or fodder sorghum, Sudan grass and Columbus grass for silage, green feed and grazing; and broom millet for brooms and brushware. However, the grain is used primarily as stock feed and is an important source for supplementing other coarse grains for this purpose.

Grain sorghum was only grown during 2005-06 in significant quantities in Queensland and New South Wales, with the former growing 1.1 mill. tonnes on 462,000 ha (table 16.11 and graph 16.16).

16.16 Grain sorghum production and area, by state - 2005-06
Graph: 16.16 Grain sorghum production and area, by state—2005–06

Maize

Maize is a summer cereal requiring specific soil and climatic conditions. The majority of maize used for grain is grown in the south-east and Atherton Tablelands regions of Queensland, and the north coast, northern slopes and tablelands, and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area regions in New South Wales. Small amounts are grown for green feed and silage in association with the dairy industry.

Maize production in 2005-06 realised 370,000 tonnes (table 16.11 and graph 16.17), almost 60% of it grown in New South Wales.
16.17 Maize for grain production and area, by state - 2005-06
Graph: 16.17 Maize for grain production and area, by state—2005–06

Rice

Almost all of Australia's rice is grown in New South Wales, with production centred in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Rice production is dependent on supplies of irrigation water and, therefore, is significantly affected by reductions in irrigation water allocations available to farmers.

In 2005-06, rice plantings covered 100,000 ha and produced 982,000 tonnes (table 16.11).

Vegetables

Australia produces an extremely wide variety of vegetables, driven largely by demand from a cosmopolitan population. Many vegetables, such as spring onions, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes are grown close to major capital cities, taking advantage of proximity to markets and low transport costs. However, the majority of vegetables are produced in the major irrigation areas of each state and territory, where access to land and water are the key drivers of investment.In 2005-06, potatoes were by far the largest vegetable crop in terms of both area and production, covering 35,000 ha and growing 1.3 mill. tonnes (see the article Potatoes - the world's favourite vegetable). South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria together produced three-quarters of the total potato crop. Tomato production ranked second with Victoria and Queensland producing almost 80% of the 449,000 tonnes grown nationally. Tasmania accounted for almost all green pea production producing 98% of the total crop of 16,900 tonnes in 2005-06 (table 16.18).

16.18 SELECTED VEGETABLES, By state - 2005-06

French and runner beans
Carrots
Onions
Green peas
Lettuces
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Tomatoes

New South Wales

Production t
1 613
^19 743
19 060
^89
40 934
123 528
29 461
69 874
Area ha
461
575
483
^116
1 235
4 987
1 880
1 224

Victoria

Production t
2 954
49 137
10 707
^180
60 333
270 382
4 071
241 967
Area ha
593
1 532
286
^137
2 983
7 511
301
2 996

Queensland

Production t
^26 446
^24 687
28 254
^115
56 405
96 991
49 397
118 643
Area ha
^5 513
^674
736
^91
2 106
3 762
3 595
2 993

South Australia

Production t
^39
55 922
86 403
^6
^7 464
385 551
5 249
^5 327
Area ha
321
1 162
1 667
^11
^393
10 767
281
92

Western Australia

Production t
^1 077
67 382
^16 720
11
^11 645
96 847
^25 847
12 725
Area ha
^251
1 098
^260
176
^562
2 278
^952
345

Tasmania

Production t
11 456
55 417
68 275
16 512
^2 296
282 164
1 815
^522
Area ha
1 198
803
1 214
3 591
*263
6 180
108
^6

Northern Territory

Production t
*2
-
250
-
*197
-
620
*65
Area ha
*1
-
11
-
*17
-
36
*3

Australia(a)

Production t
43 587
272 288
229 669
16 912
179 275
1 255 464
116 460
449 124
Area ha
8 339
5 844
4 656
4 123
7 558
35 485
7 153
7 659

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes Australian Capital Territory.
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).

Fruit (excluding grapes)

A wide variety of fruit is grown in Australia, ranging from pineapples, mangoes and pawpaws in the tropics to pome, stone and berry fruits in temperate regions. The most significant crops in terms of production weight in 2005-06 were oranges, apples and bananas. Table 16.19 shows the number of trees for the main types of orchard fruit, and the area under cultivation for bananas and pineapples.

16.19 SELECTED FRUIT - 2005-06

Orchard fruit
Tropical fruit
Apples
Apricots
Oranges
Peaches
Pears
Plums and prunes
Bananas
Pineapples

Number of trees(a) '000
8 833
602
6 532
2 192
1 466
1 748
(b) -
(b) -
Production t
276 427
16 669
496 092
86 497
139 036
26 445
176 660
^175 141
Area ha
(b) -
(b) -
(b) -
(b) -
(b) -
(b) -
10 301
3 379

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Refers to trees of bearing age (i.e. four years and over for apples, six years and over for other fruit).
(b) Data not collected.
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).


Grapes

Grapes are a temperate crop requiring predominantly winter rainfall and warm to hot summer conditions for ripening. Almost all grape production in Australia depends on irrigation water as a supplement to rainfall. An absence of late-spring frosts is essential if the loss of the developing fruit is to be prevented. Grapes are grown for winemaking, drying, and to a lesser extent, for table use. The better known grape producing areas include the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Riverland, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra (all in South Australia); Sunraysia and the Yarra Valley (Victoria); the Hunter and Riverina (New South Wales); the Swan Valley and Margaret River (Western Australia); and the Tamar Valley and Coal River Valley (Tasmania).

In 2005-06, Australia's vineyards produced 2.0 mill. tonnes of grapes on 158,000 ha. Table 16.20 shows the area of vines and the quantity of grapes produced. South Australia produced 45% of the total grape harvest with 886,000 tonnes while New South Wales (510,000 tonnes) and Victoria (497,000 tonnes) also produced large quantities (tables 16.21 and 16.22).

16.20 VITICULTURE, Area and production - 2005-06

Bearing
Not yet bearing
All
vines
Winemaking
Drying
Table and other
Total
ha
ha
ha
tonnes fresh weight
tonnes fresh weight
tonnes fresh weight
tonnes fresh weight

Red grapes
93 967
4 144
98 111
980 209
10 447
35 645
1 026 301
White grapes
64 199
6 481
70 680
801 460
107 372
46 065
954 896
Total
158 167
10 624
168 791
1 781 668
117 819
81 710
1 981 198

Source: Australian Wine and Grape Industry (1329.0).

16.21 VITICULTURE, Area of vines at harvest - 2005-06

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
ha
ha
ha
ha
ha
ha
ha
ha

Bearing area
36 632
36 597
2 449
69 771
11 375
999
237
106
Not yet bearing:
Planted or grafted prior to 2005-06
2 235
1 537
147
2 130
531
150
36
2
Planted or grafted during 2005-06
1 331
846
17
1 187
370
105
-
-
Total
40 198
38 980
2 613
73 088
12 276
1 254
273
108

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).

16.22 VITICULTURE, Grape production(a) - 2005-06

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes
tonnes

Winemaking
473 580
354 796
4 764
881 346
60 840
5 571
30
742
Drying
17 996
96 623
-
2 847
354
-
-
-
Table and other
18 327
45 755
10 301
1 621
4 163
-
1 544
-
Total
509 903
497 174
15 064
885 814
65 356
5 571
1 574
742

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Fresh weight.
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).

Oilseeds

The oilseeds industry is a relatively young industry by Australian agricultural standards. The specialist oilseed crops grown include sunflower, soybeans, canola and safflower. Sunflower and soybeans are summer crops while the others are winter crops. In Australia, oilseeds are crushed for their oil, which is used for edible and industrial purposes, and in protein meals for livestock feeds.

The 1990s saw the emergence of canola as the main oilseed crop, with production increasing from around 70,000 tonnes in 1990-91 to a high of 2.8 mill. tonnes in 1999-2000. With canola accounting for 91% of the crop, oilseeds production in 2005-06 weighed in at 1.6 mill. tonnes (table 16.11 and graph 16.23). Peanuts and cotton are also major sources of oil as a by-product to their main outputs, which are food and fibre respectively.

16.23 Oilseeds production and area, by state - 2005-06
Graph: 16.23 Oilseeds production and area, by state—2005–06

Cotton

Cotton is grown mainly in inland areas of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, primarily for its fibre (lint), and relies heavily on irrigation water to produce profitable yields. When the cotton is mature, seed cotton is taken to a gin where it is separated (ginned) into cotton lint and cotton seed. The lint is used for yarn while the cotton seed is further processed at an oil mill, where the short fibres (linters) remaining on the cotton seed after ginning are removed. These fibres are too short to make into cloth, but are used for wadding, upholstery and paper. The seeds are then separated into kernels and hulls. The hulls are used for stock feed and as fertiliser, while the kernels are crushed to extract oil. The oilcake residue (crushed kernels) is ground into meal, which is a protein roughage, and is used as a stock feed.In 2005-06, cotton lint production was estimated at 570,000 tonnes from 336,000 ha harvested (table 16.11). New South Wales was the dominant growing state with 60% of total production (344,000 tonnes) on 200,000 ha. Queensland harvested 136,000 ha and produced 225,000 tonnes of cotton lint.

Sugar

Sugar cane is grown commercially in Australia along the east coast over a distance of more than 2,000 kilometres from Maclean in northern New South Wales to Mossman in Queensland. More recently, it has also been grown in Western Australia. In 2005-06 a total of 406,000 ha of sugar cane was cut for crushing.

More than 90% (35.3 mill. tonnes) of the 38.0 mill. tonnes of sugar cane cut in 2005-06 was grown in Queensland from 384,000 ha (table 16.11).


Livestock

Cattle, sheep and pigs are the main livestock grown in Australia and have been present since the earliest days of European settlement.

Table 16.24 shows the number of cattle, sheep and lambs, and pigs as at 30 June 2006.

16.24 LIVESTOCK, By state and territory - 30 June 2006

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
Aust.(a)
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

Cattle
Milk
346
1 753
206
169
122
197
-
2 793
Meat
5 846
2 679
11 764
1 219
2 350
505
1 674
26 054
Total
6 192
4 432
11 970
1 388
2 472
702
1 674
28 846
Sheep and lambs
Sheep
22 928
13 401
3 754
8 181
16 961
2 241
* -
67 552
Lambs (under one year)
8 737
4 868
1 012
3 525
6 298
713
*1
25 176
Total
31 665
18 269
4 765
11 706
23 258
2 953
*1
92 728
Pigs
Breeding sows
74
72
73
51
34
2
-
306
Other pigs
593
562
644
364
271
14
2
2 449
Total
666
633
717
414
305
17
2
2 755

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes ACT.
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).

Cattle

Cattle farming occurs in all states and territories. While dairy cattle are restricted mainly to southern and coastal districts, beef cattle are concentrated in Queensland and New South Wales.

Beef cattle production is often combined with cropping, dairying and sheep. In the northern half of Australia, cattle properties and herd sizes are very large, pastures are generally unimproved, fodder crops are rare and beef is usually the only product. The industry is more intensive in the south, with higher stocking rates per ha, improved pastures and use of fodder crops, rotational grazing practices and increased inputs such as fertiliser and animal health products.

Cattle numbers in Australia increased to a peak of 31.8 mill. in 1976 after which time seasonal conditions and profitability saw numbers drop dramatically. For the five years from 1984 the size of the herd remained relatively stable. Between 1989 and 1998 cattle numbers increased gradually, despite unfavourable weather conditions continuing in many parts of Australia. After a slight decline in 1999, cattle numbers increased to a high of 27.9 mill. in 2002. Dry conditions over much of the country in 2002-03 saw cattle numbers fall but improved conditions in some regions in the following two years resulted in small increases in the national herd.

Graph 16.25 shows total cattle (milk and meat) numbers in Australia from 1886 to 2006.

16.25 Cattle(a) - 1886 to 2006
Graph: 16.25 Cattle(a)—1886 to 2006
By 30 June 2006, the Australian cattle herd numbered 28.8 mill. head consisting of 2.8 mill. milk cattle and 26.0 mill. meat cattle. Victoria had the most milk cattle (1.8 mill.) while Queensland grazed the most meat cattle (11.8 mill.) (table 16.24).

Sheep

Sheep numbers reached a peak of 180 mill. in Australia in 1970. In general, numbers have fallen since then. Poor market prospects for wool after 1990 had a marked impact on the flock size with sheep numbers falling rapidly until 1995, after which there was a gradual decline until 1999. By 30 June 2003, sheep and lambs had fallen to 99.3 mill. with numbers being severely affected by drought conditions throughout much of the country. At 30 June 2006, flock numbers were at 92.7 mill. head. New South Wales carries the most stock with 31.7 mill. head followed by Western Australia (23.3 mill.) and Victoria (18.3 mill.) (table 16.24).

Graph 16.26 shows total sheep and lamb numbers in Australia from 1906 to 2006.

16.26 sheep and lambs(a) - 1906 to 2006
Graph: 16.26 sheep and lambs(a)—1906 to 2006

Pigs

Pig farming is a highly intensive industry. The majority of pigs are grown in specially designed sheds which provide a controlled environment conducive to the efficient production of large numbers of animals. Recent changes in the Australian pig industry have seen many smaller producers leave the industry and existing producers increase their size of operations in an attempt to remain viable. In 2006, pigs numbered 2.8 mill. head with Queensland the dominant state (717,000 head), just ahead of New South Wales (666,000) and Victoria (633,000) (table 16.24).

Poultry

Poultry farming is also a highly intensive industry, with the majority of poultry raised in large sheds which provide the birds with a stable environment protected from the elements. The poultry farming industry consists of two streams - meat production and egg production - both being major users of feed grains. In June 2006, poultry farmers were holding 77.4 mill. chickens for meat production and 16.2 mill. for egg production.


Livestock products

Milk

Dairying is a major Australian agricultural industry. The estimated gross value of dairy production at farm-gate prices in 2005-06 was $3,343m (table 16.27), which was a 5% increase on the previous year and represented 9% of the gross value of agricultural production.

Most dairy production occurs in high rainfall coastal fringe areas where climate and natural resources allow production to be based on year-round pasture grazing. This enables efficient, low-cost milk production. With the exception of several inland river schemes, pasture growth generally depends on natural rainfall. Feedlot-based dairying is expanding, although it remains uncommon.

Milk production rose steadily until 1999-2000. Less favourable seasonal conditions and farm exits associated with deregulation of the milk industry saw production decrease by 3% to 10,545 million litres (ML) in 2000-01, before recovering to 11,271 ML in 2001-02. Dry seasonal conditions, limiting the growth of pastures and the availability of fodder crops over the last four years have seen milk production fall 10% in this period to 10,089 ML in 2005-06 (table 16.27).

16.27 WHOLE MILK INTAKE BY FACTORIES, Production, use and value

Market milk sales by factories
Milk used in the manufacture of dairy products
Total milk production
Gross value
ML
ML
ML
$m

2001-02
1 909
9 362
11 271
3 717
2002-03
1 925
8 403
10 328
(a)2 795
2003-04
1 976
8 099
10 075
2 809
2004-05
2 017
8 108
10 125
3 194
2005-06
2 066
8 023
10 089
3 343

(a) Excludes NT.
Source: Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary (7501.0); Dairy Australia.


Average annual per person milk consumption has stabilised at around 100 litres since the mid-1980s. According to Dairy Australia data for 2005-06, Australians consumed 101 litres of milk, 11.8 kilograms of cheese, 6.7 kilograms of yoghurt and 3.9 kilograms of butter/blends per person.

In 2006-07 Australia exported dairy products valued at $2.3b (1.3% of total merchandise exports). Milk, cream and milk products (excluding butter and cheese) contributed $1.3b, while cheese and curd, and butter and other fats and oils derived from milk brought in $827m and $179m respectively.

Meat production and slaughterings

Tables 16.28 and 16.29 show details of slaughtering and meat production from abattoirs, and from commercial poultry and other slaughtering establishments. They include estimates of animals slaughtered on farms and by country butchers. The data relate only to slaughtering for human consumption and do not include animals condemned or those killed for boiling down.

Production of beef in 2006-07 increased by 7% to 2,196,000 tonnes (table 16.28).Changing patterns in both consumer demand, and sheep and lamb supply have seen production of lamb meat exceed production of mutton for each of the past eight years. In 2006-07, the trend continued with lamb production up 31,000 tonnes (8%) to 413,000 tonnes while mutton production increased 27,000 tonnes (11%) to 271,000 tonnes.

Significant changes have taken place in the pig meat producing industry in recent years. Capital investment and corporate takeovers have seen the emergence of a few large companies producing a significant proportion of all pig meat sold in Australia. These moves, and the trend to more intensive and efficient production techniques, have seen pig meat production rise steadily since the mid-1970s when production dipped to a low of 174,000 tonnes. In 2006-07, pig meat production fell 2% to 382,000 tonnes.

16.28 LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY SLAUGHTERED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

Cattle
Calves
Sheep
Lambs
Pigs
Chickens(a)
Other fowls and turkeys(b)
Ducks and
drakes
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head

2002-03
8.1
1.1
13.7
16.9
5.7
419.2
9.2
4.1
2003-04
7.8
1.0
10.4
16.6
5.6
423.7
9.6
4.5
2004-05
8.0
0.9
11.4
17.3
5.3
437.6
10.2
4.7
2005-06
7.6
0.8
11.8
18.7
5.4
437.9
10.8
5.2
2006-07
8.2
0.9
13.3
20.2
5.3
453.9
10.8
5.4

(a) Excludes NT and Tas.
(b) Comprises hens, roosters, etc.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).

16.29 PRODUCTION OF MEAT

Carcass weight
Dressed weight
Beef
Veal
Mutton
Lamb
Pig meat
Total red
meat
Chicken
meat
(a)
Total
poultry
(a)(b)
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t

2002-03
2 035
38
268
329
420
3 090
690
726
2003-04
1 998
35
220
341
406
3 000
694
721
2004-05
2 133
29
237
354
389
3 142
750
791
2005-06
2 050
28
244
382
389
3 092
773
817
2006-07
2 196
31
271
413
382
3 292
812
855

(a) Excludes NT and Tas.
(b) Includes other fowls, turkeys, ducks and drakes.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).

Table 16.30 shows the gross value of livestock slaughterings over recent years. Following five years of increases, the total value of slaughterings and other disposals decreased by 7% in 2002-03. The 2005-06 value of total slaughterings and other disposals was 12% above the 2002-03 level despite a small fall on the 2004-05 value. Sheep and lamb slaughterings increased 8% in 2005-06.

16.30 GROSS VALUE OF LIVESTOCK SLAUGHTERINGS AND OTHER DISPOSALS

Cattle and calves
Sheep and lambs(a)
Pigs
Poultry
Total(b)
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

2001-02
7 142.4
2 117.6
967.7
1 174.9
11 434.5
2002-03
6 411.1
2 036.9
911.3
1 280.5
10 676.0
2003-04
6 658.8
2 038.8
878.9
1 280.8
10 896.0
2004-05
7 828.8
1 949.0
906.0
1 303.7
12 030.2
2005-06
7 689.5
2 113.1
888.6
1 226.0
11 966.3

(a) Excludes the value of wool on skins.
(b) Includes value of other livestock.
Source: Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary (7501.0).


Table 16.31 shows the volume of exports of fresh, chilled or frozen meat. In 2006-07, beef was again Australia's major meat export with shipments of bone-out beef being the major component at 973,300 tonnes, 9% more than the previous year. Exports of bone-in mutton in 2006-07 increased by 17% to 125,100 tonnes while bone-in lamb exports increased 7% to a record 127,800 tonnes which exceeded the previous year's record.

16.31 EXPORTS OF FRESH, CHILLED OR FROZEN MEAT

Beef
Veal(a)
Mutton
Lamb
Pork
Bone-in
Bone-out
Bone-in
Bone-out
Bone-in
Bone-out
Bone-in
Bone-out
Meat
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t

2002-03
37.5
894.4
3.6
6.5
109.3
52.3
87.9
14.1
62.9
2003-04
32.1
852.4
2.9
6.3
86.5
42.7
100.5
18.3
50.7
2004-05
44.6
959.4
3.3
5.8
101.7
41.8
106.5
21.7
43.5
2005-06
52.2
890.6
3.3
5.8
106.9
41.5
119.5
26.5
44.0
2006-07
52.4
973.3
3.7
5.8
125.1
42.8
127.8
29.1
41.5

(a) Includes buffalo meat.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).

The biggest customers for Australian beef in recent years have been Japan, the United States of America and the Republic of (South) Korea. In 2006-07, Japan imported the most Australian beef with 413,900 tonnes, 3% more than the previous year's shipments. The United States of America was Australia's next best customer with 304,600 tonnes, an increase of 2% on the previous year. The Republic of (South) Korea purchased 173,700 tonnes.

Table 16.32 shows the number, gross weight, gross value and unit value of live sheep and cattle exported for slaughter. The number of live sheep exported for slaughter in 2006-07 declined 3% to 4,137,900 after a 31% increase the previous year. The number of live cattle exported for slaughter in 2006-07 increased 16% to 638,000 head, the highest level since 2002-03.

16.32 LIVE SHEEP AND CATTLE EXPORTS(a)

Sheep
Cattle
Number
Gross weight
Gross value
Unit value
Number
Gross weight
Gross value
Unit value
’000
'000 t
$’000
$
’000
'000 t
$’000
$

2002-03
5 843.2
273.0
408 235
69.87
976.6
362.5
569 288
582.95
2003-04
3 842.7
188.2
266 457
69.34
581.5
192.0
317 850
546.65
2004-05
3 233.2
166.1
206 678
63.92
573.7
191.7
374 060
652.01
2005-06
4 247.7
209.5
291 452
68.61
548.8
182.2
357 793
651.99
2006-07
4 137.9
198.8
288 697
69.77
638.0
216.3
437 610
685.95

(a) Number of live animals exported, other than pure-bred breeding animals.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


Wool

Australia is the world's largest wool producer, accounting for about a quarter of total production. Wool production has been declining in Australia and the world for the past ten years. Since 1990 Australian wool production has halved, to around 534,000 tonnes in 2005-06. Almost all of Australia's wool is exported, the major markets being China, Italy, India and Taiwan.

Graph 16.33 shows total wool production for the years 1906 to 1973 and then shorn wool from 1974 onwards.

16.33 Wool production(a) - 1906 to 2006
Graph: 16.33 Wool production(a)—1906 to 2006


Shorn greasy wool contains an appreciable amount of grease, dirt, vegetable matter and other material. The exact quantities of these impurities in the fleece vary with climatic and pastoral conditions, seasonal fluctuations and the breed and condition of the sheep. It is, however, the clean wool fibre that is ultimately consumed by the textile industry, and the term 'clean yield' is used to express the net wool fibre content present in greasy wool.

The gross value of wool produced in 2005-06 fell 5% to $2,092.5m (table 16.34), about a third the value recorded in 1988-89 ($5.9b), the peak year in the wool boom of the 1980s.

16.34 WOOL, Production and value

Shorn wool
Other wool(a)
Total
Gross value
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
$m

2001-02
536.9
50.4
587.3
2 713.2
2002-03
503.0
48.1
551.1
3 317.8
2003-04
467.5
42.0
509.5
2 396.5
2004-05
475.2
44.4
519.7
2 195.5
2005-06
486.7
47.4
534.2
2 092.5

(a) Comprises dead and fellmongered wool, and wool exported on skins.
Source: Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary (7501.0); ABS data available on request.


The total amounts of taxable wool received by brokers and purchased by dealers in recent years are shown in table 16.35. They exclude wool received by brokers on which tax had already been paid by other dealers (private buyers) or brokers.

16.35 TAXABLE WOOL RECEIVALS

Brokers
Dealers
Total
Brokers as proportion
of total receivals
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
%

2002-03
390.6
112.5
503.0
77.7
2003-04
384.2
83.3
467.5
82.2
2004-05
383.7
91.5
475.2
80.7
2005-06
383.2
103.6
486.8
78.7
2006-07
362.7
102.0
464.7
78.1

Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


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