AEGIC Chief Economist Professor Ross Kingwell said Australian growers would be producing an additional 5.5 million metric tonnes (mmt) of grain by 2030*, an increase of over 11% compared to trend production in 2017.
Only about half of the additional grain will be available for export, with the rest going straight to the domestic market – mostly for animal feed.
“In little over a decade, Australia’s population is projected to reach 30 million, a jump of almost 5 million people,” Professor Kingwell said.
“This will cause a big increase in domestic grain demand for feed and food.
“And with 75% of Australia’s consumers currently living in eastern Australia, almost all the extra grain produced in the eastern states will be consumed in those eastern states.”
Professor Kingwell said by 2030 between 2.4 and 2.8mmt of extra grain would be available for export nationwide.
“Most of this will come from the less populous states of Western Australia and South Australia,” he said.
“Export demand in key international grain markets is projected to increase, so we expect the extra grain will find a home.
Professor Kingwell said Australia’s increased grain production in 2030 would stem from growers successfully increasing their crop yields in a volatile and changing climate.
“The area planted to crops is not likely to increase towards 2030, so yield increases aided by the skill of farmers, researchers and advisers will be crucial.”
*AEGIC predicts an additional 5.65mmt of grain will be produced in Australia by 2030, increasing from recent production of 49mmt in 2017/18 to 54.6mmt in 2030.