Key Export Markets

NSW Primary Industries' Exports

Source: GTA (2021)

NSW Primary Industries’ exports increased by 17% to $6.6 billion r in 2020-21. This was a record high, exceeding the previous record set in 2016-17. Primary Industries’ share of total NSW exports was 14%, up from 11% in 2019-20. 128

Livestock meat and other livestock products remained the largest export sector, despite exports falling 15% to $3.7 billion. 128 Cropping sector exports y lifted 269% to $2.6 billion. 128

NSW Primary Industries’ exports by sector

Source: GTA (2021)
NSW’s largest markets remained China, the United States and Japan. However, exports to these largest three markets collectively fell 17% 128 during the year. All three markets are typically large buyers of beef from NSW and with beef production falling as producers rebuilt stock numbers, overall beef exports fell 26% 128 which impacted exports to these countries as well as South Korea. However, the fall in beef exports was more than offset by significant increases in exports of wheat, canola, chickpeas, sorghum and barley.
With major increases in exports of grains, there were significant increases in exports to countries outside to the top three. Exports increased to Europe (canola and wheat), Indonesia (wheat), Vietnam (wheat, cotton, barley), the Middle East (wheat, barley), Pakistan (chickpeas) and other parts of Asia.

Whilst, at first glance, trade disputes appear to have impacted exports to China, in fact supply issues (impacting beef and sheepmeat) and economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 (impacting wool, cotton, nuts) explain most of the fall.

NSW change in exports by country 2020-21 s

Source: GTA (2021)

The above chart showing changes in exports by destination market excludes exports of rice as information on rice exports by market is restricted.

NSW change in exports by commodity

Source: GTA (2021)
Asia is the largest destination for NSW Primary Industries’ exports taking 68% of the total. 128 Despite the fall in exports to China, it remains 3.5 times bigger than the next largest market, the United States.
Higher grain/canola exports and lower red meat exports meant Europe overtook the Americas as the next biggest destination with 12% of total exports, up from 5% in 2019-20. 128

NSW Exports to




Middle East




  • Cropping
  • Livestock
  • Horticulture
  • Forestry
  • Fisheries
Source: GTA (2021)

Top 10 export destinations

Source: GTA (2021)