The Australian Grain Growing industry is highly export-oriented. Recently industry revenue has been volatile especially over the past five years, largely influenced by local adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in global grain prices and global crop supply.
The industry tends to follow a cyclical pattern, whereby sudden production declines cause prices to spike. Farmers then increase planting to reap the benefit of higher prices, but as production bounces back prices recede in the following season.
Long-term trends impacting the industry are the gradual rise in demand for grains, mainly for livestock feed in developing countries, as meat consumption rises in line with income, and the increased demand for grain use in biofuels.
Greater emphasis on increasing operational efficiency is expected to strengthen profit margins. Industry growth prospects will lie with emerging Asian economies, where rising per capita income and changing dietary habits are projected to support demand for industry products. Growing meat consumption will lead to the expansion of livestock industries, which drive demand for feed grains.
Industry revenue is forecast to expand by an annualised 8.5% over the five years through 2014-15, to reach $13.8 billion. However, plummeting revenue in 2009-10 has skewed the industry's revenue growth figure over the period. Industry revenue is forecast to fall 3.8% in 2014-15, due to an anticipated reduction in the nation's grain crop.
Industry revenue is forecast to grow at an annualised 1.4% over the five years through 2019-20, to reach $14.8 billion.
Exports are expected to maintain 80% share of revenue over the next five years.
Source: Ibis Worldwide Report Grain Growing in Australia September 2014