ABARES Farm Financial Performance reports released

13 September 2016

ABARES have today released the Financial performance of lamb producers and Financial performance for beef farms reports, as commissioned by Meat and Livestock Australia. These reports present results from the ABARES annual Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey, focusing on estimates of farm financial performance of lamb and beef producers from 2013-14 to 2015-16.

Both reports can be found on the MLA website by clicking here.

Some highlights of the farm financial performance of lamb producers:

  • In 2014-15, around 25,000 broadacre farms* sold lambs for slaughter – 71% of these sold between 200 and 2,000 lambs for slaughter (accounting for 67% of the total number of lambs sold for slaughter). Approximately 5% of farms sold between 2,000 and 4,000 lambs for slaughter, and 1% sold more than 4,000 lambs for slaughter (accounting for 10% of the total).
  • Average incomes of lamb producing farms in NSW, Queensland and SA are estimated to have risen from 2014-15 to 2015-16. While receipts from the sale of slaughter lambs increased, the rise in farm incomes was primarily driven by higher cropping receipts.
  • The average incomes for lamb producers in Victoria, WA and Tasmania declined from 2014-15 to 2015-16. In Victoria and WA, lower cropping receipts were somewhat offset by higher lamb and beef cattle receipts, while all major receipt components in Tasmania decreased due to dry seasonal conditions.

And, some key points of the farm financial performance of beef producers:

  • In 2015-16, the average farm* cash income is estimated to have increased by one-third, to around $162,000. Higher total cash receipts are estimated to have more than offset a rise in total cash costs.
  • Northern region beef farms recorded higher average farm incomes than farms in the Southern region in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
  • Total factor productivity in the Australian beef cattle industry increased by 1.3% per year between 1977-78 and 2013-14. The Northern region recorded higher annual growth (1.5%) over this period than the Southern region.


*Note - for the purpose of these reports:

-          Broadacre farm businesses are classified as slaughter lamb producing farms if they sold, on average, 200 or more lambs for slaughter a year over the three years ending 2014-15.

-          Beef cattle farms are defined as broadacre farms that had at least 100 head of beef cattle on hand at the end of June 2015.

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