Less drastic forecast for Australia's agriculture flood damage - FreshFruitPortal.com

Less drastic forecast for Australia's agriculture flood damage

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Less drastic forecast for Australia's agriculture flood damage

An Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) report has released flood damage estimates for agricultural production between US$497 million and US$596.6 million this financial year.

The estimate runs in stark contrast to earlier estimates released by National Australia Bank (NAB) that flooding would pull around US$2.48 billion out of farm production value in FY11.

ABARES deputy executive director Paul Morris said the bureau’s ‘Special Report on the Impact of Recent Flood Events on Commodities’ was an ‘initial assessment’ of the flooding effects in the country’s eastern states.

“While it is still too early to determine the full impact of the floods, this assessment is based on information sourced from major grain handlers, marketing organisations, agricultural and mining companies, state departments, transport authorities, the Bureau of Meteorology and satellite imaging,” he said in a media release.

“While the focus of this assessment has been on the aggregate effect on a state or national basis, there will be significant financial hardship for individuals and businesses who have experienced substantial crop or livestock losses and damage to their property.

“As observed in major natural disasters, significant damage to property and infrastructure has occurred, which has resulted in disruption to economic activity in the flood-affected regions. The value of this lost infrastructure is likely to be much greater than the estimated production impact, but has not been estimated in this report.”

The report noted significant impacts on fruit and vegetable production, particularly watermelons, sweet potatoes, broccoli and zucchinis, but the impact on other fruits and vegetables appeared limited.

ABARES will release its ‘Australian crop report’ on Feb. 15.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

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