7121.0 - Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2001   
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June 27, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Record wheat, canola and grape crops: ABS

Wheat production increased by 15% to a record 24.8 million tonnes in 1999/2000, according to final figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

These figures update the preliminary estimates of major commodities released by the ABS in October 2000 and provide final estimates for all other commodities. They represent the completion of the ABS's collection of farming activities from the 1999/2000 season.

The figures confirm that there were record harvests for a number of major crops.

Significant increases in wheat production were recorded in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia (which reported a State record harvest of 9.0 million tonnes). Wheat plantings were up by 5% to a near record 12.2 million hectares with the main increases recorded in New South Wales and Victoria.

Canola also had another record year with plantings up by 53% to 1.9 million hectares and production up by 46% to 2.5 million tonnes. Significant increases were recorded in all major growing States. Western Australia was the largest canola producing State and recorded the biggest increases, with area sown up by 64% to 879,000 hectares and quantity harvested up by 57% to 963,000 tonnes.

The national grape harvest again reached record levels in 1999/2000. The estimated area of grape vines increased by 14% to 140,000 hectares and the estimated quantity of grapes produced increased by 4% to 1.3 million tonnes.

Beef cattle numbers and sheep and lamb numbers showed signs of recovery from the falls of the previous year, with the beef herd estimated to number 24.4 million head and the sheep and lamb flock estimated to number 118.6 million head at 30 June 2000. In comparison, there was a slight drop in the estimated number of dairy cattle with 3.1 million head recorded at 30 June 2000. The fall in dairy cattle numbers was the result of a drop in the number of dairy bulls, heifers and calves since the number of cows was little changed.

Details are in Agricultural Commodities Australia 1999-00 (cat. no. 7121.0) available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. The main features of the publication are available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.