THE AUSTRALIAN Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences expects the value of the nation’s agriculture sector to rebound in 2024-25.

The latest Agricultural Commodities and Australian Crop reports from ABARES suggest the gross value of production will increase again after poor seasonal conditions affected outcomes in 2023-24.

ABARES executive director Jared Greenville said the bureau expects a rebound of up to 6%, bringing the gross value of Australian farms, fisheries and forestry to $90.8 billion.

The forecast value figure would be the third highest on record.

“The gross value of Australian crops production, as well as livestock and livestock products, are both estimated to increase to $48.7 billion and $36.2 billion respectively,” Dr Greenville said.

“For our livestock production and livestock products industries this is a record high and the result of expected favourable climate conditions and improving prices.”

Dr Greenville said rainfall during the 2023-24 summer was above average, and the subsequent build-up of soil moisture reserves in eastern Australia is expected provide a good incentive for planting ahead of the 2024-25 winter crop season.

“Broadacre farm cash incomes are also set to rebound in 2024-25 to $192,000, after significant falls in 2023-24,” he said.

“The forecast improved growing season climate conditions and the expected turnaround in livestock prices in 2024–25 will drive increases in farm income.”

Federal minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry Murray Watt welcomed the improved figures during his speech to the ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra.

“These forecasts are a testament to the hard work of Australia’s farmers, fishers, foresters, the workers in those industries and the whole ag supply chain,” he said.

But while the outlook is favourable for production, forecasts indicate exports will continue to decline.

“In 2023-24 the value of Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry exports is forecast to fall by 13% to $71.6 billion, but this follows the record high the industry experienced the previous year,” Dr Greenville said.

“This decline is expected to continue, with an additional 5% decline expected, leaving the 2024-25 value at $68.1 billion.”

The quarterly Agricultural Commodities Report contains ABARES’ forecasts for the value, volume, and price of Australia’s agricultural production and exports, as well as forecasts for farm cash incomes.