Drought cuts 10 percent off Australian agricultural production

SYDNEY, Feb 12, 2008 (AFP) – Drought cut 10 percent off the value of Australia’s agricultural production in 2006-07, official figures showed Tuesday. Poor crop production fuelled the downturn to a total output of 34.2 billion dollars (30.8 billion US), the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

Cotton dipped 46 percent to 514 million dollars, while rice fell 80 percent to 51 million dollars due to an 84 percent slump in production.

Wheat production was down almost two thirds with wheat-for-grain 51 percent weaker at 2.5 billion dollars. Despite a fall in lamb exports, the value of livestock slaughterings rose three percent to 12.4 billion dollars, buoyed by increased production of other livestock.