SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The basis of the collection of many agricultural commodities was changed with the running of the 2005-06 Agricultural Census. The main effect of the change is that a direct comparison between 2005-06 estimates from the Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced (VACP) collection and those of previous years must be treated with caution. More information concerning the break in the VACP series is included in the Explanatory and Technical Notes.
For VACP purposes, the new basis of using commodity production data does not apply to commodities not collected in the 2005-06 Agricultural Census. Production data for apples and pears, grapes, livestock disposals and livestock products (with the exception of eggs) are sourced from other ABS collections and continue to be comparable across time.
The updated preliminary estimate of the gross VACP for Australia in 2005-06 was $37.8 billion. The largest contributors were slaughtering and other disposals of cattle and calves ($7.7 billion), wheat for grain ($5.2 billion) and whole milk ($3.3 billion).
gross value of agricultural commodities produced:
In 2005-06, the updated preliminary estimate of the gross value of all crops was $20.1 billion. The highest contributors were wheat for grain ($5.2 billion), barley for grain, hay and grapes (each worth $1.4 billion) and sugar cane ($1.1 billion).
Average prices increased moderately for wheat and hay (each up by 3%) in 2005-06. The average prices of sugar cane and sorghum both increased by 7%, while the average price of oats increased by 10% and canola's average price increased by 3%.
However, the average price of rice and barley fell significantly (down by 12% and 6% respectively), whilst the average cotton price was unchanged over the same period. The average prices of field peas and lupins each fell by 5%.
The gross value of grape production decreased by 10% to $1.4 billion as production fell by 2% and the average price declined by 9% due to excess supply of wine grapes. Production of apples fell by 15% and average prices decreased by 20% resulting in a 32% decrease in value to $360 million in 2005-06. The gross value of Australian banana production in 2005-06 was $407 million with average prices increasing by 87% to over $2,300 per tonne as production fell due to the effects of Cyclone Larry in Queensland.
The average price of most staple vegetables rose significantly during 2005-06 with potatoes up by 10%, carrots up 14%, lettuce up 15%, tomatoes up 66%, mushrooms up 11% and onions up 20%.
Livestock slaughterings and other disposals
In 2005-06, the updated preliminary estimate of the gross value of livestock slaughterings and other disposals was $12.0 billion, a fall of less than 1% from the previous year.
The gross value of cattle and calf slaughterings and other disposals fell by 2% to $7.7 billion. The total number of cattle and calf disposals in 2005-06 fell by 4%. Average prices rose by 3%, which was not enough to offset the fall in cattle numbers.
The gross value of sheep and lambs slaughterings and other disposals rose by $164 million or 8% to $2.1 billion in 2005-06. Although the total number of sheep and lamb disposals increased by 9%, average prices remained unchanged to produce a net 8% increase in value.
The value of domestic slaughterings increased by 4% to $1.8 billion, with a 6% rise in the number slaughtered slightly offset by a small decrease in average prices (down 1%).
The value of Australian live sheep and lambs exports increased by 41% to $298 million, as numbers exported rose by 31% and the average price increased by 7%.
In 2005-06, the gross value of pigs slaughterings and other disposals fell by 2% to $890 million, with the number of total disposals remaining steady and average prices decreasing by 2%.
The gross value of total poultry disposals fell by 6% to $1.2 billion as production increased marginally (by less than 1%) and prices fell by 6% in 2005-06.
The updated preliminary estimate of the gross value of livestock products in 2005-06 was $5.8 billion.
The value of total wool production fell by $103 million (5%) to $2.1 billion, as the average price fell by 7% and production increased by 3%. Production of shorn wool rose moderately (up by 2%), whilst the production of skin wool increased by 7% as more sheep and lambs were slaughtered in 2005-06.
The gross value of wholemilk increased by $149 million (or 5%) to $3.3 billion in 2005-06. Production fell marginally (by less than 1%) due to residual drought conditions, but average prices increased by 5%.
Production of eggs was collected in the 2005-06 Agricultural Census and consequently the figures are not comparable with previous years. The gross value of Australian egg production in 2005-06 was $353 million. Average egg prices decreased by 11% over the same period.