1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Mar 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/03/2007   
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    Western Australian Statistical Indicators
    (ABS cat. no. 1367.5)

    The March quarter edition of the Western Australian Indicators publication contains feature articles examining WA’s resources and agriculture sectors.

    The resources industry is important to the economic and social development of Western Australia, contributing more than one quarter of the state’s total production per year and almost half of its exports. At the end of the 1990’s, the resources industry was under considerable pressure from falling world mineral and energy prices. However, in recent years, rapid industrial growth and infrastructure development in China have boosted world prices for mineral and energy resources to record levels generating record growth in resource industry investment in WA.

    The resources industry is by far the largest contributor to the Western Australian economy, but only ranks as the state’s sixth largest employer from a total of 17 industries. While price increases generated by rapid growth in the state’s export markets resulted in increases in the value of resource commodity production, increases in the volume of output have not been as widespread.

    Despite experiencing two severe droughts in the last 5 years, the value of agriculture production in Western Australia has nonetheless increased over 17% during that period. However, there was considerable fluctuation in agricultural production from year-to-year and in 2004-05, there was a decrease in both rural commodity prices and the value of the state’s agricultural production.

    Western Australia’s agriculture is divided into three major categories. The first category is crops, which made up 66% of total agricultural production in 2004-05. Livestock used for meat was the second largest category, making up 22% of total production in 2004-05. Livestock products is the third category, contributing 12% to total production in 2004-05.

    Over the last 5 years, crop production has risen from $2815 million to $3371 million in Western Australia. The main cereals grown for grain include wheat and barley. The value of livestock produced for meat has increased by almost 22% over the 5 year period to 2004-05, mainly cattle (and calves) and sheep (and lambs). Livestock products, such as wool, milk and eggs, increased only marginally over the last 5 years in Western Australia.

    For further information, please contact Phil Smythe on (08) 9360 5224.