7501.0 - Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary, 2002-03  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/01/2004   
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This publication contains preliminary information on the gross values of production for principal agricultural commodities for all states, territories and Australia. The final estimates will be released in September 2004.



In 2002-03, the preliminary estimate of the gross value of agricultural commodities produced fell by 17% to $33.0 billion. The prolonged drought saw decreases in the gross values of all major categories of agricultural production (crops, livestock slaughterings and other disposals, and livestock products) with significant falls in production levels partly offset by increases in prices for some commodities.

Graph of gross value of agricultural commodities produced, Australis, 2003


In 2002-03, the gross value of crops fell by 26% to $15.9 billion. Decreases in gross value were recorded for all major cereal crops: wheat for grain fell by 59% to $2.6 billion; barley for grain fell by 48% to $890 million; grain sorghum fell by 10% to $316 million; oats for grain fell by 16% to $211 million; and rice for grain fell by 51% to $160 million. These decreases were mostly due to significant falls in estimated production, since strong demand for feed grain fuelled increases in average prices.

Gross values for a number of other major crops also fell: cotton was down by 43% to $753 million; canola was down by 46% to $366 million; and lupins for grain was down by 31% to $208 million. Sugar cane cut for crushing was one of the few crops to record an increase in value in 2002-03, up by 2% to $1.0 billion. Good conditions were reported in a number of sugar growing regions and the consequent increase in production more than offset a fall in average price.

The gross value of pastures and grasses increased by 32% in 2002-03 to $1.0 billion. Crops for hay also recorded an increase in gross value, up by 66% to $371 million. Average prices for pasture crops and crops for hay increased by 51% and 77% respectively, reflecting increased demand for fodder crops during the drought.

The estimated gross value of grapes fell by 7% to $1.5 billion, with falls recorded in production and average price. The gross values of apples and tomatoes increased by 3% (to $358 million) and 22% (to $279 million), respectively. These increases were due to increases in average price since production of both crops was down.

Livestock slaughterings and other disposals

In 2002-03, the preliminary estimate of the gross value of livestock slaughterings and other disposals fell by 7% to $10.7 billion.

The gross value of cattle and calves slaughterings and other disposals fell by 10% to $6.4 billion. Drought conditions and increased feed costs prompted higher turnoff rates with total disposals up by 9%. This forced prices down by an average of 17%, from the highs of the previous year.

The gross value of sheep and lambs slaughterings and other disposals also fell, down by 4% to $2.0 billion. Although continued strong demand led to a small increase in average prices, tight supply of sheep and lambs saw a 5% fall in total disposals.

The gross value of poultry slaughterings and other disposals rose by 8% to $1.3 billion, the result of a small increase in total disposals and a 7% increase in average price.

The gross value of pig slaughterings and other disposals fell by 6% to $911 million, with a 6% increase in total disposals more than offset by a 12% drop in average price.

Livestock products

For 2002-03, the preliminary estimate of the gross value of livestock products fell by 5% to $6.4 billion, with an increase in the gross value of wool more than offset by decreases in the gross values of milk and eggs.

The gross value of wool increased by 22% to $3.3 billion. This was due to a 30% increase in average price as buyers reacted to dwindling supplies, with wool production down by 6% and the national sheep flock at its lowest level since 1947.

The gross value of milk fell by 25% to $2.8 billion, a result of an 8% drop in production due to drought and an 18% fall in average price. For eggs, the gross value of production fell by 11% to $286 million, with a 2% increase in production more than offset by a 12% fall in average price.