Primary Industries Scorecard 2021-22

Primary Industries Scorecard 2021-22

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Testament to the resilience of South Australia’s primary producers, agribusiness and primary industries have seen record growth with a 12% increase in generated revenue to $17.3 billion for 2021-22 in the release of the latest Primary Industries Scorecard.

As we emerge from numerous challenges including globally the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, Chinese trade tensions and the Ukraine invasion, as well as local extreme weather, bushfire and flood events, South Australia’s primary industries continue to deliver solid growth, accounting for 51% of the state’s merchandise exports.

The main drivers of this increase were the field crops and livestock industries, with field crop revenue up 23% to $5.6 billion due to increased grain export prices that eventuated from drought in some northern hemisphere grain growing regions, global supply chain constraints, and the war in Ukraine. The value of the livestock industry increased by 29% to $4.1 billion with favourable weather conditions and export prices contributing to the result.

Such growth has resulted in a flow-on effect to the contribution of primary production activity (agriculture, forestry and fishing) to the state’s economy (Gross State Product), up by 26% totalling $7.6 billion. Total employment in primary industries and associated processing reached an estimated 71,000 jobs. With strong demand for additional workers across many agricultural and processing sectors, attracting and training the workforce required for the future continues to be an important focus.

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Overseas exports of agriculture, food, wine and forestry products increased by 24%, totalling $7.5 billion, a major contributor being grain exports which increased by 59% in value to $3.8 billion.

Despite recent challenges posed by Chinese trade tensions - with exports to that market falling by 35% - China remains the biggest overseas market, accounting for 9% of total food and agribusiness exports. Wine was the biggest sector to be affected by the ongoing Chinese market downturn, with a 16% decrease in total wine exports to $1.38 billion.

The Scorecard includes the revenue, sales, exports and gross value production of primary industry sectors and associated processing such as field crops, livestock, horticulture, wine, seafood, dairy, forestry, wool, skins, seeds and animal feed.

While some of the global issues remain, along with inflationary pressures, the Government of South Australia remains cautiously optimistic that the growth and resilience of our primary industries and agribusinesses will continue into this coming financial year.

The 2021-22 Primary Industries Scorecard, including more detailed information by sector, can be downloaded at