7506.0 - Agricultural Industries, Financial Statistics, Australia, Preliminary, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/02/2000   
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  • Grain industry turnover feels effect of falling cereal prices - ABS (Media Release)


February 17, 2000
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Grain industry turnover feels effect of falling cereal prices - ABS

Turnover in Australia's grain industry dropped 10% in 1998-99 to $4.6 billion due to falling cereal prices, according to preliminary farm finance estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Western Australia, the largest cereal producing State, was the most affected with a 13% decrease in total State turnover to $3.9 billion.

However, overall, Australia's farm finances showed little change at the national level with preliminary turnover estimates in 1998-99 at $26.6 billion compared to $27.3 billion the previous year.

Although turnover from the grain industry was down it still was the largest contributor to overall farm finances. The grain-sheep/beef industry was the next highest contributor at $3.8 billion ($4.4 billion in the previous year). However that industry also experienced significant decreases in turnover due to falling wool prices.

Income from the sales of crops and from the sales of livestock remained steady at $13.2 billion and $6.1 billion respectively. Income from the sales of livestock products decreased 11% to $4.9 billion.

Gross indebtedness of the farming sector was $22.2 billion at the end of June 1999 (compared with $21.6 billion the previous year) with average debt per farm business of $218,000. Farm businesses paid $1.5 billion interest at an average of $14,700 per farm business.

Cash operating surplus decreased 10% to $5.5 billion. The average cash operating surplus for farm businesses dropped to $53,600 in 1998-99 from $58,400 in 1997-98.

In terms of size, the agriculture industry continued to be dominated by the largest farm businesses. While farm businesses with turnover of $500,000 represented only 11% of all farm businesses they accounted for 48% of turnover and 50% of cash operating surplus.

Details are available in Agricultural Industries, Financial Statistics, Australia, Preliminary 1998-99 (cat. no. 7506.0) available from ABS bookshops.

If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication telephone 02 6252 5249.