PRODUCTION in Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors is on track to be the third highest on record in the upcoming financial year.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences projects the gross value of Australia’s agricultural industries to increase to $89.5 billion in 2024-25, up 2% from $87.6 billion in 2023-24.

An improved seasonal outlook is contributing to these projections, following drier conditions that were experienced in 2023-24.

“Some cropping regions are currently experiencing dry conditions, but an expected improvement in season conditions over winter, combined with improved livestock prices and production, will put Australian agriculture in a good position,” ABARES executive director Jared Greenville said.

“Strong global demand for Australian livestock products will support an improvement in prices and production, with the gross value of Australian livestock production and livestock products forecast to increase by 3% to $35.5 billion in 2024–25” he said.

Just last week saw China lift import bans on a number of Australian beef exporters, a move welcomed as “a great outcome” for the companies, their clients and the farmers and feedlots they support through cattle purchase.

Dr Greenville said ABARES is also seeing continued growth from Australia’s horticulture sector, which is expected to be at a record high of $17.4 billion, led by increases in fruit and nuts.

“For crops, despite lower prices resulting from higher global production, the value of crop production is expected to grow by 2% to $48.1 billion in 2024-25 on the back of higher production levels,” he said.

Dr Greenville underlined the adaptability of Australian agriculture as an ingredient in its continued success.

“The forecasts show Australian agriculture doing what it’s known for – being adaptable to seasonal conditions and able to respond to new market opportunities,” he said.

Much of the positive outlook rests on the arrival of La Niña later in the year, which analysts expect will bring improved rainfall in parts of the country that have had a dry start to the season.