Bloomberg News

Australia Lowers Agriculture Export Estimate on Global Economy

December 13, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Australia, set to be the world’s second-biggest wheat shipper, cut its forecast for agricultural- export earnings on concern that the European debt crisis may damp global economic growth and hurt commodity demand.

Earnings from farm, forest and fisheries products may total A$38.4 billion ($38.6 billion) in the year to June 30, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said today. That compares with A$38.6 billion forecast in September and a revised A$36.1 billion in 2010-2011, it said.

Moody’s Investors Service said yesterday it will review the ratings of European Union countries after a summit last week failed to offer measures to end the crisis. Agriculture prices including wheat may decline in 2012 on bigger harvests, according to a report this month from Credit Suisse Group AG.

“Emerging economies, particularly in Asia, continue to underpin world economic activity, but weak private demand and concerns over public debt levels have weakened activity in major Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development economies,” the Canberra-based bureau said in the report. “Economic growth across non-OECD Asia is continuing, although some easing has been observed.”

Farm-export earnings, including crops and livestock, may total A$34.5 billion in the year to June 30, while forestry and fisheries exports may total A$3.9 billion, the bureau said. Export earnings are forecast gain for wheat, barley, cotton, sugar and beef on continued Asian demand, the bureau said.

--Editors: Jake Lloyd-Smith, Jarrett Banks

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net


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