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Australian agricultural, resource export earnings to rise

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Australia's agricultural export earnings for 2011-12 are forecast for a very comfortable rise according to the ABARES Agricultural commodities-September quarter 2011 report. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig welcomed the rise of 6.5 per cent to $34.6 billion. "The forecast increase in farm export earnings mainly reflects expected higher farm production and a favourable outlook for agricultural prices on world markets." With highly promising growing conditions in 2011-2012 both a large national winter crop and an increased production of summer crops is expected. Ludwig said the forecast Australian farm export earnings is the second highest Australia's seen since 2002-3. However its not just farms showing a welcome increase; with the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics latest quarterly report predicting a 21 per cent increase in resources and energy earnings, hitting a record $215 billion. Bureau executive director and chief economist Quentin Grafton said this reflected strong increases for most commodities including coal, iron ore, oil and gas, base metals and gold. Prices for a number of commodities are forecast to ease in 2012, however Grafton remarked that "it should be noted in some cases they are coming off record high levels and still indicate a very positive outlook." Thermal coal was tipped to rise 29 per cent to $18 billion, crude oil and condensate to hit $13 billion; up 13 per cent, and liquefied natural gas to grow by 11 per cent to $12 billion. The increase in export volumes for many minerals and energy commodities reflects increased mine and infrastructure capacity, particularly for iron or and coal," Grafton said. Similarly positive increases across farming and crops exports were seen in canola, up eight per cent; raw cotton, up 63 per cent; rice, 377 percent; wool, 1 per cent and meat, up 6 percent. "This is great news for Australia's agricultural, fisheries and forestry exporters and a testament to the hard work and innovative approaches adopted by Australian producers," Ludwig said.

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