Good prospects for Australian agriculture

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Wet conditions in parts of the country have not dampened Australia’s agricultural prospects, according to the latest report from the Rural Bank.

According to the bank’s semi-annual outlook report, Australian farmers continue to benefit from high commodity prices and strong production despite an unstable global environment.

Rural Bank’s Andrew Smith says strong seasonal conditions for most of the country have delivered good results for farmers with forecasts that will continue.

“It’s a good and quite positive outlook, and it’s great to see this three years in a row for our growers…where we’ve had good conditions both for seasons and commodity prices,” said Mr. Smith at the AAP.

While heavy rains and flooding have posed a challenge to growers in Queensland and New South Wales, seasonal conditions continue to support strong production across most agricultural sectors.

The report does not take into account this week’s wet weather across NSW.

Wet conditions are expected to continue through September across much of the country with the possibility of a third La Nina weather event during the summer.

Southern parts of Western Australia and Tasmania are likely to experience average rainfall.

Forecasts point to above-average Australian winter crop production for a third consecutive season thanks to favorable weather conditions in most regions.

Horticulture is also expected to see a return to strong production, after flooding in Queensland recently affected supply.

The wet conditions are expected to give a boost to the country’s cattle and sheep herds which continue to recover from the drought.

Mr Smith said beef, sheepmeat, wool and dairy production are all expected to perform well in the second half of 2022.

He told AAP that while global trading conditions have been difficult for some exporters, Australia has also been able to diversify the number of countries it sells to over the past year.

“For example, lamb, we’ve increased our lamb exports to the United States quite strongly over the last couple of years, but in the last 12 months we’ve seen markets like the UAE, South Korea South, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia also increase.”

Australian producers of mutton, almonds, wool, lentils and wine stand to benefit greatly from improved access to the Indian market through the Interim Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between the Australia and India recently signed.

The report concluded that relations with Australia’s biggest trading partner, China, showed no tangible signs of improvement with a range of tariffs in place on barley, wine, lobster and Australian beef.

It says little to no grain supply available in Ukraine has resulted in high demand for Australian grain, especially across Asia.

Mr Smith said seasonal conditions, trade conditions and supply chain disruptions would all continue to impact production in the second half of 2022.

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