Australian regional exporters are rising to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, posting an 8.2 per cent increase in rural exports for the month of October according to trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The data shows that rural exports were up $264 million from September.
In October, Australia recorded a trade surplus of $7.5 billion, marking 34 consecutive months of surpluses. The strong performance of the agricultural sector was underpinned by recoveries in exports of wool and sheepskins, up 10.4 per cent to $180 million and meat exports up 9.1 per cent to $1.2 billion.
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Gee, said these trade results were a testament to the hard work of regional producers.
“Despite the challenges of this year, our Australian farmers continue to demonstrate strength and resilience,” Minister Gee said.
“Agricultural exports are critical to Australia’s economic recovery. That’s why the Government has been making necessary investments in the regions to boost farm exporters, ensure an agricultural workforce and build resilience to drought, floods and bushfires.
“The 2020-21 Budget delivered historic funding to support our exporters, including a $328 million Busting Congestion for Agricultural Exporters Package to modernise Australia’s export systems, and an additional $317.1 million to extend the International Freight Assistance Mechanism until the middle of next year.
“These initiatives will help keep our Aussie farmers in business by ensuring they can get their high-quality produce into key export markets faster and cheaper.
“The Australian Government recognises the vital role that regional exporters will play in our economic recovery. We will continue to work hard to expand export opportunities and international market access to ensure country exporters thrive.”