Victoria is Australia’s main food and fibre export state, DPI report

  • October 23, 2012
  • Kate Carey

The food and fibre sector is “big business” for the State of Victoria according to latest growth figures from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries. In 2011-12, Victorian food and fibre exports were worth almost $9 billion, up 11 per cent from the previous year.

The “Growing Food and Fibre Performance” report, released this week, shows the value of food exports from Victoria in 2011-12 was $7 billion, an increase of $745 million from the previous financial year. The value of fibre products (including animal fibre and skins and hides) increased by $164 million from 2010-11, to be valued at $1.94 billion in 2011-12.

In 2011-12, Victoria accounted for 29% of Australia’s total food and fibre exports and Victoria is currently the leading food and fibre export state in Australia.

The performance report showed that Victoria’s top food and fibre customer during 2011 – 2012 was China, which accounted for $1.9 billion in exports. China was followed by Japan and New Zealand which were responsible for $816 million and $484 million in export sales respectively.

The report is part of the four-year Victorian government strategy to grow the food and fibre export industry. The food and fibre sector employs more than 141,900 Victorians, and accounts for one in six jobs in regional and rural Victoria.

Victorian export performance based on commodity group

The key food and fibre commodity groups for Victoria’s exports in 2011-12 were dairy and grains, accounting for 41% of the total value of food and fibre exports.

Victorian dairy exports were valued at $1.93 billion in 2011-12, a decrease of 1% from 2010-11. Victoria accounted for 86% of the value of Australia’s dairy exports. Milk and cream products were valued at $940 million; and cheese and whey products valued at $699 million, were the most valuable dairy export categories.

Japan remained the largest market for Victorian dairy exports, valued at $428 million in 2011-12. Other significant markets included Singapore ($190 million), China ($144 million) and Indonesia ($138 million).

Victorian grain exports were valued at $1.81 billion in 2011-12, increasing by 61% compared with 2010-11. Victoria accounted for 16% of the value of Australia’s grain exports. Reported wheat exports were valued at $1.12 billion, making up 62% of Victoria’s grain exports.

Vietnam was Victoria’s most valuable export market for reported grain exports in 2011-12, valued at $233 million. Grain exports to Indonesia were valued at $150 million and exports to the Philippines were valued at $100 million. Partner country details were not provided for $721,870 worth of grain exports from Victoria in 2011-12.

Victorian meat exports were valued at $1.58 billion in 2011-12 a decrease of $76 million from 2010-11, with Victoria accounting for 20% of the value of Australia’s meat exports. Beef exports from Victoria decreased by 10% to be valued at $606 million. Sheep meat exports decreased by 8% to be valued at $601 million, accounting for 38% of Victoria’s meat exports.

Exports to the United States were valued at $242 million in 2011-12, an increase of 1% from 2010-11. Other key export destinations included Japan and China with exports valued at $151 million and $100 million respectively.

Victorian animal fibre products were valued at $1.45 billion in 2011-12, increasing by 14% compared to 2010-11. In 2011-12 Victoria accounted for 54% of the value of Australia’s wool exports.


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