Despite the growing risks to global growth caused by the European debt crisis, Australia's resource and energy exports are expected to hit $206 billion for 2011-12. It is a 15 percent rise from the past 12 months, said the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE).
BREE Executive Director and Chief Economist Quentin Grafton explained the anticipated record-high export figures to strong export volumes for the second half of 2011 and prices of many commodities remaining at historically high levels.
For the same period, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said farm exports would reach $34.5 billion or a 6 per cent rise compared to a year ago.
Analysts, however, were divided on the farm export forecast.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Luke Matthews agreed with ABARES's outlook that agricultural production would be exceptionally strong, both for the winter crop now being harvested and summer crops about to be planted. He added the current rainfall will provide a very supportive environment for livestock.
However, Profarmer Grain senior commodities analyst Malcolm Batholomaeus, pointed out that ABARES missed out that price for good-quality wheat is lower in 2011 compared to prices for feed-quality wheat for the same year. The same situation holds true for other grains, which makes the bureau's data a bit optimistic on export earnings.
ABARES forecast sugar exports to go up 7 per cent to 2.8 million tonnes, down from previous forecast of 3.9 million tonnes. Australia is the world's third largest raw sugar exporter, behind Brazil and the European Union.
Other farm products expected to register large increases are rice by 210 per cent, raw cotton by 85 per cent and canola by21 per cent.
However, the bureau forecast live cattle exports to fall drastically by 31 per cent to 500,000 heads mainly due to a hangover from the ban on export to Indonesia.
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