Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia methodology

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Reference period
2018-19 financial year

Explanatory notes


1 This publication contains final estimates from the 2018–19 Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced (VACP) collection. Included are statistics on gross and local values of crops, livestock disposals and livestock products.

2 National and state/territory level estimates are presented in this release. Data at sub-state levels including Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (2016 edition) Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4), and Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions will be released as data cubes (Excel xls) and comma separated value (csv) files attached to the publication.

Calculating VACP

3 VACP has three major categories:

  • The value of crop production
  • The value of livestock disposals (including domestic slaughtering and export of live animals)
  • The value of livestock products (including wool, eggs and whole milk)

4 The gross value estimates in this publication are derived by the multiplication of price and quantity estimates of agricultural commodities.

5 Quantity data for most crops have been sourced from the 2018–19 Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey (REACS) and relate to the year ended 30 June 2019. Remaining commodity data (livestock disposals and livestock products excluding eggs) are obtained from other Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) collections, with some information from non-ABS sources. A copy of the 2018–19 survey form can be found in the publication Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0), under the Data downloads section.

6 Gross prices are those prices are those realised at the point(s) of valuation where ownership of the commodity is relinquished by the agricultural industry. For example, fruit can be sold into the fresh fruit market, to factories for processing and/or export.

Example: Calculating gross value for Banana production in Australia:

MarketProduction quantity (tonnes)Average market price ($)Market value ($)
Fresh fruit51,0005,000
Factory input302006,000
Overseas exports15120018,000
Total (all markets)50derived price 580Gross value 29,000

Each market value is calculated by multiplying the production quantity data by the average market price. The gross value of bananas is $29,000, the sum of the market values for fresh, factory input and exports.

7 The Local value estimates in this publication are derived by subtracting transport and marketing costs from gross value. They are the value placed on recorded production at the place of production, including indirect taxes.

8 Transport and marketing costs are the costs of moving the agricultural product from the place of production (i.e. farm) to the market place. These include freight, cost of containers, commission, insurance, storage, handling and other charges necessarily incurred by the producer in delivering commodities to the market place.

Collection method

9 Price information is obtained from other ABS collections, as well as from non-ABS sources, including marketing authorities and industry sources. 

10 The method of collection of relevant prices and the costs of marketing for agricultural commodities varies considerably between states and territories and between commodities. Where a statutory authority handles marketing of the whole or a portion of a product, data are usually obtained from this source. Information is also obtained from marketing reports, wholesalers, brokers and auctioneers. For all commodities, values are in respect of production during the year (or season) irrespective of when payments are made. For that portion of production not marketed, estimates are made from the best available information and, in general, are calculated on a local value basis.

Scope changes in the Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey

11 The scope for the REACS was all agricultural businesses with an Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) of $40,000 or greater. This was a change from previous surveys, where a scope of EVAO of $5,000 or greater was used, and is a continuation of the scope used in the 2015-16 Agricultural Census. 

12 The scope change impacts on some components of VACP but not others. Where information is sourced from REACS there will be an impact on estimates, including for crops and horticulture where production information is now only collected from businesses with a value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or greater. The value of livestock disposals and livestock products (except for eggs) is sourced from other information and is not impacted by the REACS scope change. 

13 As a result of the change in scope, some components of VACP will not be directly comparable to previous published VACP outputs. To address this, additional estimates have been produced for a number of VACP releases from 2010-11 to 2014-15 using an EVAO of $40,000 or greater. These estimates are now available at the national, state/territory levels and sub-state levels on the ABS website.

14 For more information on the scope changes to the survey please refer to the Explanatory Notes within Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0).

Reliability of estimates (sample error)

15 The estimates in this publication that are based on information obtained from agricultural businesses that responded to the survey inputs for VACP and are subject to sampling variability. Not all of the businesses that were selected for the surveys provided data, and therefore estimates may differ from the figures that would have been produced if information had been collected from all businesses. 

16 One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE) which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample was taken or received. There are approximately two chances in three that a 'sample' estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all establishments had responded or been reported for, and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

17 In this publication, 'sampling' variability of the estimates is measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. Most published estimates have RSEs less than 10%. For some states and territories with limited production of certain commodities, RSEs are greater than 10%. Estimates that have an estimated RSE between 10% and 25% should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% should also be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are considered too unreliable for general use.

18 Estimates in this publication also use price information from non-ABS sources, including marketing authorities and industry sources, for which RSEs are not calculated. The RSEs in this publication refer only to the production component of the estimates. RSEs for all published estimates are available on request.

Rounding and confidentiality

19 Where figures for individual states or territories have been suppressed for reasons of confidentiality, they have been included in relevant totals.

20 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Related publications

21 Final estimates for agricultural land use, crop and horticultural area and production, livestock numbers and farm management and demographics are available in Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2017-18 (cat. no. 7121.0) from May 2019.

22 Final estimates of the gross value of agricultural commodities that are produced with the assistance of irrigation data will no longer be released in Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008). This data will instead be incorporated into Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0).

23 Final estimates for land management, similar to those previously published in Land Management and Farming, Australia (cat. no. 4627.0) will be available on request from the second half of 2020.

24 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed under the Statistics page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead. 

ABS data available on request

25 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

General acknowledgement

26 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


27 The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to the ABS.

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