SA ag sector sets new record

SA ag sector sets new record

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SA's primary industries and agribusiness sector has reached record levels, generating $15.2 billion revenue in 2018-19 - an increase of two per cent on the previous year despite challenging conditions.

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SA's primary industries and agribusiness sector has reached record levels, generating $15.2 billion revenue, with average farmgate wheat prices rising by 42 per cent in 2018-19.

The primary industries scorecard showed the revenue, sales and exports of SA's key primary industry sectors, including crops, livestock, wool, dairy and horticulture.

Crops contributed 25pc to the state's economy and had the strongest production value growth, recording an increase of 29 per cent.

Growth was driven by strong demand from the eastern states which experienced a decreased supply as a result of the drought.

The farmgate hay price skyrocketed and rose by 168pc.

But seasonal conditions in SA impacted on grains production leading to a below average harvest volume of $5.8 million tonnes, down by 16pc when compared to 2017-18.

Livestock contributed 21pc and recorded a production value growth of 5pc, but its revenue had declined mostly because of a reduction in beef processing capacity at Thomas Foods International.

The value of beef production fell by 10pc mainly due to a decline in herd numbers which fell by 6pc.

Despite an 8pc decrease in the volume of wool produced because of destocking and lower wool yield, wool production value rose by 24pc to $706 million.

Its contribution to the state's economy was 5pc.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the growth in value of farm product is a testament to the innovation and skills of our farmers.

"Our primary industries and agribusiness sector is the biggest contributor to the state's economy and the Marshall Liberal Government is committed to supporting continued growth in the sector," he said.

"This is why our 'Growth State' initiative focuses on food, wine and agribusiness to grow Gross State Product by three per cent per year.

Almost 116,000 jobs were supported by primary industries and processing - supporting growth in the regions.

"Despite experiencing unfavourable seasonal conditions, gross value of production increased by 13 per cent to $7.9 billion, with this increase largely due to strong prices for a number of our sectors during the year," Mr Whetstone said.

"Our agriculture, food, wine and forestry exports represented 47pc of the state's total merchandise exports in 2018-19. Exports increased for dairy by 25pc, wool by 19pc, horticulture by 12pc, seafood by 11pc and wine by 3.5pc.

The dairy sector recorded an 8pc increase in production value and a farmgate milk price rise of about 10pc.

Combined gross food and wine revenue was up 0.5pc to reach $20.4 billion.

The South Australian Primary Industries Scorecard is available - both as a report and an interactive dashboard - at www.pir.sa.gov.au/scorecards

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