Agriculture has been a major contributor to the Victorian economy since the 1800’s. Today, Victoria’s agriculture exports are booming and the future looks bright with key export regions such as North Asia and Southeast Asia continuing to boom, demanding premium quality, clean and green products.
Victoria produces a diverse range of produce, including meat, grains, fruit and vegetables, and dairy products.
Our state currently accounts for approximately one-quarter of Australia’s value of agriculture and its agriculture and food product exports and accounts for almost half of Australia’s horticultural products.
Exports were valued at nearly $1.2 billion in 2015-16 – an increase of $278 million from 2014-15.
Victoria's top three exports
- Meat – including sheep meat and beef, valued at just over $2.45 billion.
- Animal fibre – with wool exports accounting for over 98 per cent of this total, at $1.84 billion. Excellent seasonal conditions along with high wool prices contributed to the increase in export values.
- Grain – Victoria has experienced significant growth in grain exports over the last year, growing 87per cent to export $1.81 billion in 2016-17. The majority of this increase can be attributed to wheat exports growing 54 per cent to $802 million.
Beef, sheep and fibre
- Victoria’s beef and sheep products are world renowned for their quality. The red meat sector is well established, quality assured, innovative, globally connected, sustainable and backed by world-class research, development and extension (RD&E).
- Victoria’s rainfall enables mostly free-range production systems that support high-quality beef cattle and sheep production. Victorian livestock production provides all-year-round supply and has the potential to sustainably intensify production.
- Victoria produces 25 per cent of Australia’s wool (by value), with animal fibre exports from Victoria valued at $1.6 billion in 2015-16.
- Victoria’s extensive grain regions have the soils and climate to produce premium quality cereals, pulses, legumes and oilseeds on a large scale.
- In Victoria’s northwest, conditions favour highly sought-after milling wheat, malting barley and culinary pulses. Elsewhere, Victoria’s higher rainfall zones offer high yields for cereals and canola, with great potential for development.
- Victoria’s grain growers have the expertise and technology to manage climate variability and capitalise on diverse conditions.
- Victoria is Australia’s second largest vegetable producer by value and accounts for around 50 per cent of Australia’s horticulture exports.
- It's features such as Melbourne’s world-class port and transport infrastructure that allows efficient export to international customers and our proximity to the Asia Pacific gives Victoria the ability to airfreight produce into Asian markets within a day of harvest, and at competitive prices.
- With a diversity of regional climates, topography and soils, Victoria produces an enviable range of premium fresh produce. Harvest is spread across several regions and months, extending the season for supplying international markets.
- Victoria's export success in the dairy industry is mainly due to the industry’s efficient, pasture-based dairy farms, the availability of grain as a cost-effective feed supplement, and a progressive and efficient processing sector.
- Our dairy cows have access to fertile soils and clean, secure water, and Victoria’s low incidence of pests and disease underpin world renowned biosecurity advantages.
- The industry is continually innovating with new products to create commodities and value-added speciality products that meet the demands of Asian importers.
- Victoria is Australia’s major food processor, producing around 30 per cent of Australia’s processed food and exporting nearly a third
of the country’s food. We produce around $38.1 billion worth of processed food per year.
- According to IBM, Victoria is the best quality location in the Asia Pacific for advanced food and beverage processing.
Victoria's key agricultural markets
- China, Hong Kong and India are the biggest importers of Victorian horticulture products.
- With a reputation that rides on providing international customers with ‘clean and green’ food products that stem from robust regulatory and safety standards positions the state’s horticulture products in high demand, across the globe, for an increasingly discerning consumer.
Beef, sheep and fibre
- Australia exports more beef and lamb than any other country in the world. Victoria produces more than 40 per cent of Australian lamb, and its beef industry is the most export-oriented of any Australian region.
- Victoria’s world-class beef is mainly exported to countries in Asia and North America. Recent FTAs with China, Korea and Japan has provided beef producers with opportunities to supply high-quality eligible live export beef and sheep.
- Victoria is a gateway to Asia and the Middle East with strong relationships and low freight costs to key Asian economies.
- Opportunities to meet increasing global demand for lamb and beef products are emerging in economies such as Asia and the Middle East as they increasingly adopt western diets, driving demand for high-quality meats.
- Animal fibre exports from Victoria were valued at $1.6 billion in 2015-16.
- Around 70 per cent of Victoria’s annual grain output is exported.
- Victoria’s top three grain markets from 2011-12 to 2015-16 have been China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
- Australia’s top three dairy markets, by value, are Japan, China and Indonesia.
- Asian markets account for 80 per cent of the value of all dairy exports. Outside of Asia, other large export markets include New Zealand, the United States, and the Middle East.
- Major companies in Victoria such as Simplot use Victoria’s competitive advantage to export their processed horticulture products around the world.
Want to know more?
Visit our resources section to explore a range of fact sheets that provide detailed information about Victoria's vibrant food and fibre sector.
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