Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Agriculture >> Agricultural production

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

Crops

In 2007-08, 24.4 mill. ha was sown to crops, excluding land used for pastures and grasses. Western Australia cropped 7.4 mill. ha while New South Wales and South Australia cropped 6.8 mill. ha and 4.3 mill. ha respectively (table 16.13). Wheat was Australia's biggest crop in terms of area used with 12.6 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 32.6 mill. tonnes (table 16.14).

16.13 Area of Crops(a)

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

2005-06
6 941
3 252
2 503
4 168
7 623
68
9
1
24 565
2006-07
6 687
3 428
2 215
4 450
6 669
62
*19
^ -
23 530
2007-08
6 816
3 655
2 183
4 257
7 396
52
*14
*1
24 374

^ 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) Excludes crops harvested for hay and seed, and pasture and grasses
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).

16.14 SELECTED CROPS, Area and production

Area

Production

2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t

Crops for grain
Barley
4 406
4 182
4 902
9 482
4 257
7 160
Grain sorghum
767
613
942
1 932
1 283
3 790
Oats
930
1 003
1 238
1 688
748
1 502
Rice
102
^20
2
1 003
^163
18
Wheat
12 443
11 798
12 578
25 150
10 822
13 569
Lupins
809
736
752
1 285
470
662
Other crops
Sugar cane cut for crushing
398
409
381
37 128
36 397
32 621
Cotton lint
327
164
69
560
282
119
Canola
972
1 052
1 277
1 419
573
1 214
Other fruit
Bananas
11
12
10
187
213
207
Grapes (bearing)
158
164
166
1 981
1 530
1 957
Vegetables
Carrots
6
6
5
265
271
273
Potatoes
35
34
38
1 250
1 212
1 400
Tomatoes
8
^7
7
450
296
382
Onions
5
5
5
222
246
254
Mushrooms
-
-
-
44
43
47

^ 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)
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia, (7121.0).

16.15 SELECTED ORCHARD CROPS, Tree numbers and production(a)

Number of trees

Production

2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
'000 trees
'000 trees
'000 trees
'000 t
000 t
000 t

Orchard fruit
Oranges
6 553
6 612
6 053
507
471
409
Mandarins
1 613
1 448
1 340
92
104
^94
Apples
8 833
8 590
8 685
276
270
265
Pears (including Nashi)
1 776
1 741
1 729
142
135
130
Peaches
2 246
2 356
2 270
91
82
68
Mangoes
1 437
1 452
1 287
36
58
49

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
(a) Number of trees refers to trees of bearing age.
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia, (7121.0).


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.

16.16 PRODUCTION AND AREA OF SELECTED CROPS - 2007-08

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

Wheat
Production ’000 tonnes
2 477
1 995
954
2 296
5 820
27
13 569
Area ’000 ha
4 009
1 514
669
2 121
4 258
7
12 578
Oats
Production ’000 tonnes
193
335
^12
^115
840
^8
1 502
Area ’000 ha
464
211
^20
^142
397
^4
1 238
Barley
Production ’000 tonnes
814
1 789
143
1 672
2 719
^22
7 160
Area ’000 ha
1 049
1 107
113
1 244
1 381
^8
4 902
Grain sorghum
Production ’000 tonnes
1 270
-
2 519
* -
**2
-
3 790
Area ’000 ha
279
** -
661
* -
**1
-
942
Rice
Production ’000 tonnes
18
-
-
-
-
-
18
Area ’000 ha
2
-
-
-
-
-
2
Canola
Production ’000 tonnes
79
221
** -
162
752
1
1 214
Area ’000 ha
310
196
**2
173
595
1
1 277
Cotton lint
Production ’000 tonnes
77
-
42
-
-
-
119
Area ’000 ha
40
-
29
-
-
-
69
Sugar cane cut for crushing
Production ’000 tonnes
^2 587
-
29 788
-
247
-
32 621
Area ’000 ha
^24
-
355
-
2
-
381

^ 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
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes NT and ACT.
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


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 16.17 shows wheat production in Australia from 1908 to 2008.

16.17 Wheat production (a) - 1908-2008
Graph: 16.17 Wheat production (a)—1908–2008


In 2007-08, farmers planted 12.6 mill. ha to wheat and harvested 13.6 mill. tonnes. Western Australia planted and harvested the most wheat followed by New South Wales and South Australia (table 16.16 and graph 16.18). In 2007-08, just over half 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.

New varieties of wheat have enabled it to be grown in more marginal areas. 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.

16.18 WHEAT PRODUCTION AND AREA, By state - 2007-08
Graph: 16.18 WHEAT PRODUCTION AND AREA, By state -- 2007-08


Oats

Oats are traditionally grown in moist, temperate regions. However, 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 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 2007-08, farmers planted 1.2 mill. ha of oats and harvested 1.5 mill. tonnes. Western Australia produced the most oats (840,000 tonnes), followed by Victoria (335,000 tonnes) (table 16.16 and graph 16.19).

16.19 oats production and area by state - 2007-08
Graph: 16.19 oats production and area by state—2007-08


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 2007-08, 7.2 mill. tonnes of barley were harvested from 4.9 mill. ha (table 16.16 and graph 16.20). The largest areas planted were in Western Australia (1.4 mill. ha), South Australia (1.2 mill. ha), and Victoria (1.1 mill. ha). Production was highest in Western Australia with 2.7 mill. tonnes, followed by Victoria and South Australia, 1.8 mill. tonnes and 1.7 mill. tonnes of barley respectively.

16.20 barley production and area by state - 2007-08
Graph: 16.20 barley production and area by state—2007-08


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 2007-08 in significant quantities in Queensland and New South Wales, with the former growing 2.5 mill. tonnes on 661,000 ha (table 16.16 and graph 16.21).

16.21 grain sorghum production and area by state - 2007-08
Graph: 16.21 grain sorghum production and area by state—2007-08


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 2007-08, rice plantings covered 2,000 ha and produced 18,000 tonnes (table 16.16).

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 2007-08, potatoes were by far the largest vegetable crop in terms of both area and production, covering 38,200 ha and growing 1.4 mill. tonnes (table 16.14). South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania produced almost 80% of the total potato crop. Tomato production ranked second with Victoria and Queensland producing 80% of the 382,000 tonnes grown nationally.

Fruit (excluding grapes)

A wide variety of fruit is grown in Australia, ranging from tropical fruit such as mangoes and bananas in the north to pome, stone and berry fruits in temperate regions. The most significant crops in terms of production weight in 2007-08 were oranges, apples and bananas (tables 16.14 and 16.15).

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 to prevent the loss of developing fruit. Grapes are grown for winemaking, drying and 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 2007-08, Australia's vineyards produced 2.0 mill. tonnes of grapes on 166,000 ha. Tables 16.22 and 16.23 show the area of vines and the quantity of grapes produced. South Australia produced 41% of the total grape harvest with 812,000 tonnes while New South Wales (554,000 tonnes) and Victoria (477,000 tonnes) also produced large quantities (table 16.24).

16.22 VITICULTURE, Area and production

Area

Production of grapes for

Total

Bearing
Total
Winemaking
Drying
Table and other
Quantity
'000 ha
'000 ha
'000 t fresh weight
'000 t fresh weight
'000 t fresh weight
'000 t fresh weight

2005-06
158
169
1 782
118
82
1 981
2006-07
164
174
1 371
81
79
1 530
2007-08
166
173
1 837
56
64
1 957

Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).

16.23 VITICULTURE, Area and production - 2007-08

Area

Production of Grapes For

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

Red grapes
98.0
2.4
100.5
984.1
4.8
34.4
1 023.3
White grapes
68.2
4.0
72.2
852.9
51.4
29.2
933.5
Total
166.2
6.5
172.7
1 837.0
56.1
63.6
1 956.8

Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0); ABS Australian Wine and Grape Industry (1329.0).

16.24 VITICULTURE, Grape production(a) - 2007-08

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

Winemaking
535 989
394 551
3 307
809 113
82 197
10 749
-
1 128
Drying
8 742
45 677
69
1 472
179
-
-
-
Table and other
9 679
36 614
11 237
930
4 045
-
1 116
-
Total production
554 410
476 842
14 612
811 515
86 421
10 749
1 116
1 128

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Fresh weight.
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia, (7121.0).


Canola

Canola is Australia's most commonly grown oilseed crop and is used in the production of oil and as a protein source in stock feed. Over the past four years canola has accounted for about 90% of the value of all oilseed production. Canola was first planted in Australia in 1980 but it was not until the late 1980's that high yielding blackleg-resistant varieties started to became available. By the early 1990's, production was becoming more widespread and canola was emerging as the main oilseed crop. From a production level of 70,000 tonnes in 1990-91, the record high of 2.8 mill. tonnes was achieved nine years later in 1999-2000. In 2007-08 farmers harvested 1.2 mill. tonnes, just over double the previous year's crop weight (table 16.14 and graph 16.25).

16.25 CANOLA PRODUCTION AND AREA, By state - 2007-08
Graph: 16.25 CANOLA PRODUCTION AND AREA, By state—2007–08


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 2007-08, cotton lint production was estimated at 119,000 tonnes from 69,000 ha harvested (table 16.14). New South Wales was the dominant growing state with 65% of total production (77,000 tonnes) on 40,000 ha. Queensland harvested 29,000 ha and produced 42,000 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. Small quantities are also grown in the north of Western Australia. In 2007-08 a total of 381,000 ha of sugar cane was cut for crushing (table 16.14).

More than 90% (29.8 mill. tonnes) of the 32.6 mill. tonnes of sugar cane cut in 2007-08 was grown in Queensland from 355,000 ha (table 16.16).


Livestock

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

Tables 16.26 and 16.27 show the number of cattle, sheep and lambs, and pigs from 2005-06 to 2007-08.

16.26 LIVESTOCK NUMBERS, By Australia - Year ended 30 June

2006
2007
2008
’000
’000
’000

Cattle
Milk(a)
Cows in milk and dry
1 880
1 796
1 640
All other milk cattle(b)
908
868
897
Total
2 788
2 663
2 537
Meat
Cows and heifers one year and over
13 197
12 800
13 472
All other meat cattle(c)
12 409
12 573
11 312
Total
25 606
25 373
24 784
Sheep and lambs
Breeding ewes one year and over
48 605
46 431
45 411
Other sheep(d)
42 423
39 280
31 526
Total
91 028
85 711
76 938
Pigs
Breeding sows
302
286
263
Other pigs(e)
2 431
2 319
2 149
Total
2 733
2 605
2 412

(a) Excludes house cows.
(b) Includes heifers 1 to 2 years, heifers over 2 years, bulls and calves.
(c) Includes bulls, steers and calves.
(d) Includes rams, marked lambs, wethers, hoggets and non-breeding ewes.
(e) Includes boars, gilts, suckers, weaners, growers and finishers.
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).

16.27 LIVESTOCK, By state and territory - 2007-08

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

Cattle
Milk(a)
Cows in milk and dry
195
1 055
100
103
54
134
-
-
All other milk cattle(b)
126
529
74
57
^47
^64
-
-
Total
321
1 583
174
160
101
198
-
-
Meat
Cows and heifers one year and over
2 982
1 206
6 113
533
1 217
224
^1 193
4
All other meat cattle(c)
2 348
1 049
5 617
433
796
220
^848
^2
Total
5 330
2 254
11 731
966
2 013
444
^2 041
6
Sheep and lambs
Breeding ewes one year and over
15 799
9 680
2 044
6 059
10 580
1 217
** -
32
Other sheep(d)
10 579
7 085
1 916
3 924
7 074
920
** -
29
Total
26 378
16 765
3 960
9 983
17 654
2 137
** -
61
Pigs
Breeding sows
^87
^42
60
39
^33
2
** -
-
Other pigs(e)
*684
^352
550
324
^228
11
-
-
Total
^770
^394
610
363
262
13
** -
-

^ 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
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Excludes house cows.
(b) Includes heifers 1 to 2 years, heifers over 2 years, bulls and calves.
(c) Includes bulls, steers and calves.
(d) Includes rams, marked lambs, wethers, hoggets and non-breeding ewes.
(e) Includes boars, gilts, suckers, weaners, growers and finishers.
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).

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 hectare, 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 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 three years resulted in the national herd reaching a 30 year high of 28.4 million head. A return to drier weather has since seen numbers decline.

Graph 16.28 shows total cattle (milk and meat) numbers in Australia from 1888 to 2008.

16.28 CATTLE(a) - 1888 to 2008
Graph: 16.28 CATTLE(a)—1888 to 2008


By 30 June 2008, the Australian cattle herd numbered 27.3 mill. head consisting of 2.5 mill. milk cattle and 24.8 mill. meat cattle. Victoria had the most milk cattle (1.6 mill.) while Queensland grazed the most meat cattle (11.7 mill.) (table 16.27 ).

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. Following a slight recovery in 2004 and 2005, sheep and lamb numbers in 2008 fell to 76.9 mill.head - their lowest level in 88 years - as the industry, already feeling the effects of drought, reacted to falling demand for wool and higher lamb prices. New South Wales carried the most stock with 26.4 mill. head followed by Western Australia (17.7 mill.) and Victoria (16.8 mill.) (table 16.27).

Graph 16.29 shows total sheep and lamb numbers in Australia from 1888 to 2008.

16.29 SHEEP AND LAMBS(a) - 1888 to 2008
Graph: 16.29 SHEEP AND LAMBS(a)—1888 to 2008


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 2008, pigs numbered 2.4 mill. head with New South Wales the dominant state (770,000 head), followed by Queensland (610,000) and Victoria (394,000) (table 16.27).

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. Egg production has begun to move towards layer hens being housed in non-caged systems. In June 2008, poultry farmers were holding 73.9 mill. chickens for meat production and 14.8 mill. for egg production (table 16.30).

16.30 POULTRY - Year ended 30 June

Chickens(a)

Other poultry

Chickens for egg production
Meat chickens (broilers)
Total chickens
Ducks
Turkeys
Other poultry
Total
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

2006
15 936
78 448
94 384
766
1 166
701
97 017
2007
15 271
82 114
97 385
906
1 975
491
100 757
2008
14 760
73 869
88 629
na
na
na
na

na not available
(a) Includes breeding stock.
Source: ABS Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0); ABS data available on request, Poultry and Game Birds Slaughtered Survey.



Livestock products

Milk

Dairying is a major Australian agricultural industry. The estimated gross value of dairy production at farm-gate prices in 2007-08 was $4,572m (table 16.31), which was a 44% increase on the previous year and represented 11% 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 over the last decade has been in decline following industry deregulation and several years of less than favourable seasonal conditions. In 2007-08, the trend continued with total milk production falling 370 million litres (4%) to 9,212 million litres (table 16.31).


16.31 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

2003-04
1 976
8 100
10 076
2 809
2004-05
2 017
8 110
10 127
3 194
2005-06
2 066
8 023
10 089
3 342
2006-07
2 160
7 422
9 582
3 178
2007-08
2 205
7 007
9 212
4 572

Source: ABS Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced (7503.0); ABS Livestock Products Australia (7215.0); Dairy Australia.


Average annual per person milk consumption has stabilised at around 100 litres since the mid-1980's. According to Dairy Australia data for 2007-08, Australians consumed 104 litres of milk, 11.8 kilograms of cheese, 6.9 kilograms of yoghurt and 4.1 kilograms of butter/blends per person.

In 2007-08 Australia exported dairy products valued at $2.6b (1.4% of total merchandise exports). Milk, cream and milk products (excluding butter and cheese) contributed $1.4b, while cheese and curd, and butter and other fats and oils derived from milk brought in $968m and $195m respectively.

Meat production and slaughterings

Tables 16.32 and 16.33 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 2008-09 was virtually static at 2,120,000 tonnes (table 16.33).

In 2008-09, lamb production decreased 12,000 tonnes (3%) to 423,000 tonnes while mutton production decreased 23,000 tonnes (9%) to 235,000 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 -1970's when production dipped to a low of 174,000 tonnes. Recently there has been a reduction in pig meat production with a fall of 14% to 324,000 tonnes in 2008-09.

16.32 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

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
2007-08
7.9
0.9
11.9
20.9
5.2
459.1
12.4
6.1
2008-09
7.9
0.8
11.3
20.8
4.5
474.8
12.4
6.3

(a) Excludes NT and Tas.
(b) Comprises hens, roosters, etc.
Source: ABS Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0); ABS data available on request, Poultry and Game Birds Slaughtered Survey.

16.33 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

2004-05
2 133
29
237
354
388
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
2007-08
2 127
28
258
435
377
3 226
797
841
2008-09
2 120
28
235
423
324
3 130
832
876

(a) Excludes NT, Tas and ACT.
(b) Includes other fowls, turkeys, ducks and drakes.
Source: ABS Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0); ABS data available on request, Poultry and Game Birds Slaughtered Survey.


Table 16.34 shows the gross value of livestock slaughterings over recent years. The 2007-08 value of total slaughterings and other disposals decreased by 2% to $12.1b. Poultry slaughterings increased by 26% in 2007-08 to $1.6b, while cattle and calf slaughterings decreased by 8% to $7.4b.

16.34 GROSS VALUE OF LIVESTOCK SLAUGHTERINGS AND OTHER DISPOSALS

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

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
7 684.9
2 112.4
890.1
1 222.7
11 959.6
2006-07
7 987.9
2 057.1
943.6
1 294.1
12 335.9
2007-08
7 353.3
2 167.9
901.7
1 636.6
12 103.6

(a) Excludes the value of wool on skins.
(b) Includes value of other livestock.
Source: ABS Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia (7503.0).


Table 16.35 shows the volume of exports of fresh, chilled or frozen meat. In 2008-09, beef was again Australia's major meat export with shipments of bone-out beef being the major component at 955,200 tonnes, 4% more than the previous year. Exports of bone-in lamb fell back 2% in 2008-09 after the previous year's record and exports of pork meat fell by 17%.

16.35 EXPORTS OF FRESH, CHILLED OR FROZEN MEAT

Beef(a)

Veal

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

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
971.5
3.8
5.8
124.9
42.8
127.5
29.0
41.3
2007-08
57.2
917.5
3.7
5.0
119.5
43.8
134.1
32.5
39.1
2008-09
48.0
955.2
4.1
4.6
107.0
44.1
131.5
31.4
32.3

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


As in recent years, Japan, the United States of America and the Republic of (South) Korea continued to be the best customers for Australian beef. In 2008-09, Japan imported the most Australian beef with 368,000 tonnes although shipments were 2% less than the previous year. The United States of America was Australia's next best customer with 281,000 tonnes, an increase of 16% on the previous year. The Republic of (South) Korea purchased 127,000 tonnes.

Table 16.36 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 2008-09 numbered 4.1 million head - on par with the previous year - while the gross value of these exported sheep increased 18% to $339m. The number of live cattle exported for slaughter in 2008-09 increased 20% to 857,700 head, the highest level since 2002-03.

16.36 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
$

2004-05
3 233.2
166.1
206 678
63.9
573.7
191.7
374 060
652.0
2005-06
4 247.7
209.5
291 452
68.6
548.8
182.7
357 793
652.0
2006-07
4 137.9
198.8
288 697
69.8
638.0
216.1
437 427
685.6
2007-08
4 069.0
197.0
286 442
70.4
713.3
241.2
450 511
631.6
2008-09
4 063.5
199.0
339 048
83.4
857.7
286.0
563 770
657.3

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

Wool

Australia is the world's largest wool producer, accounting for about a quarter of total production. In the last twenty years wool production has more than halved, to around 459,000 tonnes in 2007-08. Almost all of Australia's wool is exported, the major markets being China, Italy and India.

Graph 16.37 shows total wool production for the years 1908 to 1973 and then shorn wool from 1974 onwards.

16.37 Wool Production(a) - 1908 to 2008
Graph: 16.37 Wool Production(a)—1908 to 2008


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 2007-08 increased 1% on the previous year to $2.3b (table 16.38), approaching a third of the $5.9b recorded in 1988-89, the peak year in the wool boom of the 1980's.

16.38 WOOL, Production and value

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

2004-05
475.2
44.4
519.7
2 195.5
2005-06
486.7
47.4
534.2
2 053.9
2006-07
450.5
51.8
502.3
2 281.6
2007-08
407.9
50.9
458.7
2 309.0

(a) Comprises dead and fellmongered wool, and wool exported on skins.
Source: ABS Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia (7503.0); 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 16.39. They exclude wool received by brokers on which tax had already been paid by other dealers (private buyers) or brokers.

16.39 TAXABLE WOOL RECEIVALS

Receivals

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

2004-05
383.5
82.2
465.7
82.3
2005-06
383.1
89.4
472.5
81.1
2006-07
361.9
88.6
450.5
80.3
2007-08
330.4
77.5
407.9
81.0
2008-09
295.0
75.6
370.6
79.6

Source: ABS Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).




Previous PageNext Page


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.