NSW primary industry exports earned $5.4 billion, with large increases in beef, sheep, and wool exports driven by higher volumes and prices. Exports were 15.1% lower than the previous year, however this result is distorted by new state level data restrictions on cotton exports. Factoring in the discrepancy would result in total primary exports of approximately $6.1 billion, a decline of just 3.9% year-on-yearc.

China, Japan and the United States (U.S.) were the largest destination of primary industry exports from NSW. Exports to China increased 17% to $1.76 billion; exports to Japan increased 7% to $559 million; and exports to the U.S. increased 16% to $546 million. Eight of the ten largest markets by value were in located in Asia, emphasising the importance of these markets.

Livestock meat and other products contributed $3.17 billion in exports, accounting for approximately 59% of total primary industry exports in NSW. The highest value export industries were beef, wool and sheep meat respectively. China, Japan and the U.S. were the largest destinations for beef and sheep meat exports, with China increasing by a dramatic 88% on the back of particularly strong demand for these commodities.

Broadacre crops were reported at $1.13 billion having more than halved, down 58% on the previous year owing to data restrictions1, dry conditions and lower production. Wheat exports declined with exports to Indonesia and India, the two largest destinations last year, falling 66% and 100% respectively as the latter sourced wheat domestically. Oilseed exports fell 83% to $37 million, consisting mostly of cotton seed exports to China, while the majority of 2017-18 canola was sold to the domestic crush market.

Horticulture exports grew by 12% to $365 million with nuts comprising 53%, fruit 22% and vegetables 7% of the export value. Exports to NSW’s main export destination China increased by 50% totalling $65 million, with nut exports increasing by 44% to $39 million and citrus exports by 46% to $15 million. Citrus exports worth $45 million and up 29% year-on-year were promising with Vietnam, UAE and China in particular driving this growth.

Wine exports remained steady with a marginal increase of 2% totalling $520 million. The U.S. continues its status as NSW’s main market, comprising 44% of the export value, although exports were down by 8% to $227 million. The United Kingdom was the second largest market and increased by a noteworthy 68% to reach $86 million.

Forestry exports grew for a fourth consecutive year, up 6% year-on-year. Much of the growth is attributable to China which accounts for 87% of forestry exports, valued at $127 million.

Key Export Markets


NSW exports ($million)

Industry Contribution


US accounts for 62% of NSW sheep and goat meat exports


China’s wool market share reached 83% or $715m, the highest level in 8 years


India remains a key market for NSW chickpea exports, valued at $188m


Italy is the largest EU market, and key durum wheat export market at 94% market share


UAE is NSW largest Middle Eastern export market, particularly for sheep meat, chickpeas and beef