Cropping industries were the key beneficiary of the improved conditions, with many producers weighing up high restocking costs and difficulty obtaining stock with significant fallow land capacity, early rainfall, and firm grain prices. Winter plantings were above average, and timely in crop rainfall provided an additional boost with most crop yields into record territory. Extensive livestock industries continued the task of rebuilding herd and flock numbers after falling to historically low levels. Farm turnoff and production declined proportionally, however record prices underpinned by strong international demand provided support to overall livestock revenue.
The solid achievement in Output was mirrored by strong international demand from the sectors' export markets, which responded favourably to the improved domestic supply situation boosting NSW primary industries' exports to record levels of $6.6 billion. The biggest contributor to export returns were cropping commodities, namely wheat, canola, pulses, and coarse grains, which were able to revert to normal export trade flows following two seasons of drought induced grain import programs. Newly introduced trade impositions to China were offset by gains to other key markets including South East Asia and Europe.
Looking forward, the opportunities outweigh the challenges on the immediate horizon, beginning with another bumper winter crop harvest, closely followed by a forecast substantial summer crop which will benefit from higher water allocations. Red meat supply is expected to ramp up, supported by ongoing high livestock prices in the medium term, while the forestry and fisheries sectors continue to rebuild from the dual impacts of bushfires and coastal flooding events of prior years. The preliminary forecast for 2021-22 is for NSW GVP to reach $18.5 billion, or approximately 25% of the national GVP forecast. If achieved this would indicate NSW’s contribution to delivering a national $100 billion primary industry sector by 2030 is on the right trajectory, setting a solid platform to build upon for the remaining target timeline.