“Excellent” season and booming commodity prices see nation’s buoyant farmers defying broader COVID economic uncertainty

14 September 2021

A second consecutive year of good seasonal conditions and high commodity prices is helping shield Australia’s farm sector from the broader economic uncertainty of COVID-19, with farmer sentiment surging in recent months, according to the latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey.

The survey, released today, reveals Australian farm sector confidence is at one of its highest levels in the survey’s history due to ongoing positive seasonal conditions and exceptionally-high commodity prices, with more than 90 per cent of Australian farmers expecting the current conditions to continue or improve further over the coming 12 months.

Rabobank Australia CEO Peter Knoblanche said conditions in Australian agriculture overall were “near perfect” with strong demand across commodities, and prices in a number of sectors at or near record highs, alongside excellent seasonal conditions, low interest rates and a lower Australian dollar.

“While there are some challenges for the farm sector due to shipping delays and labour shortages, the Australian farm sector has largely been sheltered from the broader impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and is a shining star in the Australian economy right now,” Mr Knoblanche said.

“Above-average rainfall in the late half of winter across many agricultural regions has set up the sector for another big spring, with prospects of a second year of high-yielding crops and excellent conditions for livestock.”

The latest survey, completed last month, found 43 per cent of farmers surveyed nationally expect conditions in the agricultural economy to improve over the year ahead, a jump from 35 per cent with that view last quarter.

A further 50 per cent of respondents said they expect current farm business conditions to stay the same for the coming 12 months, while just four per cent of those surveyed expect conditions to weaken.

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