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Queensland AgTrends

Sugarcane

Soybeans

Livestock disposals

decrease

Livestock Products

Fruit, nuts and vegetables

Queensland’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry (AFF) sector is a key foundation of the Queensland economy, the Australian economy and the success of our regions. It is critical to support it to diversify, add value and grow...

  • In 2022-23 Queensland’s Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry sector gross value of production will exceed $23 billion for the second consecutive year.
  • Whilst remaining strong, the gross value of production is forecast to fall by 2 per cent in 2022-23 to $23.11 billion.
  • The sectors gross value of production for 2021-22 was revised upwards by half a percent to $23.66 billion as generally favourable conditions, record crop harvests and strong prices offset losses from disruption.
  • Looking forward the agricultural sector in Queensland continues to address impacts across the supply chain, rising input costs, workforce supply and accommodation and remnant impacts of flooding.

For 2022–23, the total value of Queensland’s primary industry commodities is forecast to be $23.11 billion which represents a 2.3% decrease on the previous year. The value of Queensland agriculture is made up of:

  • $18.09 billion gross value of production (GVP)
  • $5.02 billion value-added production

This total is 15.37% greater than the average for the past 5 years

The largest contributors, by estimated GVP, are:

  • Livestock disposals (32.4%) – Significant biosecurity threats face livestock industries but demand remains strong and prices are holding firm.
  • Processing (21.4%) - the agricultural processing sector (first round) remains a strong contributor to the agriculture sector GVP beyond primary production, buoyed primarily by meat processing.
  • Horticulture (18.6%) – Horticulture production in Queensland demonstrates a high level of resilience and ability to adapt to prevailing conditions and market demands.
  • Crops (21.0%). – Despite an extremely wet start to the winter cropping season the sector recovered with late plantings and winter crops in Southwest and Central Queensland, reporting strong yield potentials leading into spring.

In 2020-21 Queensland, based on ABS statistics, produced 96% of Australia’s sugar cane, 69% of mangoes, 65% of sorghum for grain, 65% of capsicums, 63% of macadamias, 62% of sweetcorn, 60% of avocados, accounted for 48% the cattle herd and 31% of egg production.

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Queensland’s Agricultural Labour Market

Queensland’s labour market remains tight with unemployment at 3.2%. Overall employment in Queensland rose by 1,400 persons (0.05%) in August 2022 and was 214,700 persons (8.4%).

Horticulture has a particular reliance on seasonal workers to ensure continuity of supply. The Queensland horticulture sector alone up to 18,000 temporary full time equivalent jobs each month during a good season.  The sector has experienced a shortage of labour in peak harvest periods in recent years.

The sector is responding to this shortage through improved production decisions, enhancing labour conditions; investing in new technologies to improve efficiency; and agility in cropping. Further, labour attraction initiatives have reduced the labour shortage gap to ensure Queensland’s crops are harvested to meet market demands.

Explore our labour-demand dashboard below to:

  • understand labour demand across Queensland horticultural regions and commodities
  • understand the labour intensity of various commodities across the year
  • Note the figures contained in the dashboard are modelled estimates only, are subject to change, and are based on the best available data at the time of modelling (February 2021).

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Last updated: 14 Oct 2022