Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh
Bumper Year For Victorian Farm Exports With $1.3 Billion Rise
Victor P Taffa
Victorian food and fibre exports grew by 19 % last year despite a tough economic climate and parity Australian dollar.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said a new Department of Primary Industries (DPI) report found Victorian food and fibre exports jumped $1.3 Billion to reach $8.07 Billion in 2010-11.
“This demonstrates the high quality and high demand for Victorian food, wine and fibre, and is a fantastic result for our farming communities.” Mr. Walsh said.
“But what is most pleasing is that our exports have increased during a difficult economic time, when the Australian dollar reached parity with the US dollar.”
“The end of the drought and stronger commodity prices, together with new access to the Indian market for Australian dairy farmers, are the key factors in an exceptionally strong showing for Victorian food and fibre producers.”
Mr. Walsh said the Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance 2010-11 showed Victoria remained Australia’s leading agricultural exporter, accounting for 28 % of farm exports.
Victoria made up 86 % of the value of Australia’s dairy exports alone with $1.96 Billion worth, while the value of grain exports jumped sharply from $442 Million to $1.13 Billion.
Mr. Walsh said the findings were a resounding demonstration of the importance of rural Victoria to the state’s economy.
The report found that fibre exports, including wool, skins and hides, were valued at about $1.77 Billion in 2010-11, an increase of $470 Million from the previous financial year.
Demand for wool remained strong despite higher prices, with volumes exported to China increasing by 14 % and shipments to Italy more than doubling.
Mr. Walsh said a total of 412,000 tonnes of meat products worth approximately $1.66 Billion were also exported, an increase of $110 Million.