Livestock exports perform well despite drought and debts

IN THE face of drought, flood and high debts, Australia's livestock exports are expected to pull in an extra $1.8 billion, taking the total industry earnings $16.7 billion this financial year.

The latest report by the national agriculture researchers ABARES- the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences - showed revenue for beef and veal producers to increase by 12% and dairy export earnings to jump by 24%.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said despite the hardships facing the industry, exports "are generally looking good".

He said the signing of the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement would also help producers of beef, dairy, grain, sugar, horticulture and wine score improved export results.

Crop exports, however, are expected to fall by 7.4%

"It's one of the challenges of agriculture in a vast country like ours - we have farmers doing well in some sectors and farmers in other parts experiencing hardship," Mr Joyce said.

For those on hard times, Mr Joyce said some government help may be available.

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