Increased farm gate returns for Australian beef producers

Farm incomes are increasing strongly for beef producers, recording an almost one hundred per cent year on year increase, according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).​

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today welcomed the release of Australian beef: Financial performance of beef cattle producing farms 2012-13 to 2014-15 showing an increase in average farm cash incomes of Australian beef cattle producing farms in 2014‒15.

Minister Joyce said that the increase in average farm cash incomes was partly a result of increased cattle turn-off in response to dry seasonal conditions, but also from strong international demand for Australian beef and live cattle resulting in higher beef cattle prices pushing up farm gate returns.

“Beef producers in northern Australia have seen the most significant increase in farm cash incomes – an average of $148,000 per farm in 2014-15, up from $74,700 in the previous year, representing a 98.1 per cent increase, or around 50 per cent above the average for the previous 10 years,” Minister Joyce said.

“While in southern Australia, farm cash income of beef cattle producers is estimated to have increased from an average of $38,100 a farm in 2013-14 to $64,000 a farm in
2014‒15.

“Increases in cattle sold for live export and higher cattle prices resulted in farm cash income in the northern live cattle export region increasing from an average of $143,000 a farm in 2013-14 to $277,000 a farm in 2014-15.

“And although drought conditions affect an estimated 30 per cent of Australian beef cattle producing farms, particularly in Queensland and New South Wales, higher cattle prices are estimated to have resulted in an increase in farm cash income for drought-affected farms.”

Minister Joyce said the recent live cattle export trade negotiations with China, as well as the free trade agreements with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea would support this vital industry and continue to promote Australia’s quality beef and beef producers to the world.

“I will continue to work hard to improve market access and to improve farmgate returns to ensure that this $8.5 billion industry continues to grow and remain viable well into the future,” Minister Joyce said.

ABARES is a research bureau within the Department of Agriculture, providing professionally independent research, analysis and advice for government and private sector decision-makers on significant issues affecting Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries.

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