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Australia as an agricultural producer

The agricultural industry makes a significant contribution to Australia’s national GDP. The average value of agricultural commodities produced in Australia over the past five years was AU$44 billion (2007-08 to 2011-12). This excludes the significant downstream contribution of over AU$100 billion from marketing, refinement and processing.

30 year trend in total value of Australian agricultural production, 1981-82 to 2010-2011

30 year trend in total value of Australian agricultural production, 1981 82 to 2010 2011

Notwithstanding seasonal variations in crop yields, the value of agricultural production has grown at fairly consistent average annual rate of approximately 4.5% since the early 80s. During that time the total value of agricultural production has more than doubled, with average annual production in the last decade being 131% higher than in the 80s.

Trends in total value of Australian agricultural production by sector, 1980-81 to 2009-10

Trends in total value of Australian agricultural production by sector, 1980 81 to 2009 10

Crop production has grown more rapidly than livestock, with the average annual production value of crops over the last decade being 172% higher than in the 80s, compared to a rise of 97% for livestock. Crops now account for over 57% of agricultural production value and livestock and animal products for 43% (2010-11 figures).

Australian agricultural commodities by production value, 2010-11 (AU$48,674 total production value)

Australian agricultural commodities by production value, 2010-11 (AU48,674 total production value)

References and data sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts, National Income and Expenditure Data Series, 2012
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced Data Series (chain volume measure), 2012
  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Agricultural Commodities Statistics, 2012