ABARES: Farm exports could drop more than 7%

FARM export earnings could drop more than 7%, alongside a fall in production volumes this financial year after a bumper year for export prices in 2013-14.

The latest figures from ABARES, released on Tuesday, forecast a 5.3% fall in total farm production this fiscal year, despite remaining 9.3% above the 10-year average.

The data also showed an expected 7.7% decline in farm export earnings, down to about $37.9 billion for 2014-15.

However, ABARES chief commodity analyst Jammie Penm said forecast export earnings would still be around 7% higher than the 10-year average to 2012-13.

"Higher export prices in 2014-15 for beef, wool and sheep meat are expected to be more than offset by lower prices for wheat, cotton, barley, sugar and dairy products," he said.

The biggest contributors to the forecast decline in export earnings were barley (down 42%), canola (down 41%), cotton (down 29%) and mutton (down 20%).

But the prices for some export were expected to rise during the year, albeit at lower levels, with lamb up 2%, live sheep up 24% and live cattle up 7%.

- APN NEWSDESK



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