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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The preliminary estimate of the gross value of all crops in 2007-08 increased by 41% to $25.0 billion. This was as better seasonal conditions improved production, and higher demand and fluctuating exchange rates increased prices, resulting in large increases in gross values.
Large increases were reported for all major cereal crops, except rice. The value of wheat increased by 107% to $5.4 billion; barley increased by 116% to $2.2 billion; grain sorghum increased by 280% to $1.0 billion and oats for grain increased by 127% to $410 million. The increased values for cereals were the result of improved production, combined with demand-driven increases in average prices.
In contrast, the value of rice decreased by 83% in 2007-08, to a record low of $10 million, as production fell by 86% due to a lack of water for irrigation.
Increased values were recorded for canola (up 196% to $673 million) and lupins for grain (up 95% to $244 million), with both commodities reporting significantly higher production and increased average prices. The value of sugar cane cut for crushing fell in 2007-08 as lower production (down by 7%) and decreased average prices (down by 21%) combined to reduce value by 27% to $897 million. The value of cotton fell by 41% to $300 million in 2007-08 as a result of falling production, which was down by 44%, while the average price increased by 6%.
In 2007-08 the gross value of hay increased by 85% to $3.0 billion. Hay production rose by 58% and average prices also increased (up by 18% due to higher demand for stock feed).
The gross value of grapes increased by 49% to $1.7 billion in 2007-08. Production improved in 2007-08, up by 30% following a sharp fall in 2006-07 with average grape prices rising by 15%.
The gross value of apples increased by 2% to $494 million in 2007-08, with a 4% increase in average prices offsetting a 2% fall in production.
Livestock slaughterings and other disposals
In 2007-08 the gross total value of livestock slaughterings and other disposals was $12.2 billion, a decrease of 1% on the previous year.
The total number of cattle and calves slaughterings and other disposals in 2007-08 fell by 2% and average prices also fell (down by 5%, with less suitable animals presented for sale) resulting in a net 7% decrease in gross value to $7.4 billion.
The gross total value of sheep and lambs slaughterings and other disposals rose by 5% to $2.2 billion in 2007-08. Although the total number of sheep and lamb disposals fell by 2%, average prices increased by 7% due to reduced supply.
In 2007-08 the gross total value of pigs slaughterings and other disposals fell by 4% to $902 million, with the number of total disposals falling by 2% and average prices also decreasing (down by 3%).
The gross value of total poultry disposals increased by 27% to $1.6 billion in 2007-08 as production increased by 2% and average prices increased by 24%.
The preliminary estimate of the total gross value of livestock products in 2007-08 was $7.3 billion, an increase of 26% over the previous year.
The gross total value of wool production rose marginally (by 1%) to $2.3 billion in 2007-08, as total production fell by 9% and average prices increased by 11% (due mainly to supply concerns by buyers of shorn wool).
In 2007-08 the gross value of milk increased by 44% to $4.6 billion due to a 50% increase in average prices, which reflected increased overall demand for dairy products and was compounded by a 4% fall in production (due to residual drought conditions).
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