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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
Final data from this collection will be published in Agriculture, Australia (Cat. no. 7113.0).
This issue contains preliminary estimates of employment in the agricultural industry in Table 4.
There will be no issue of this publication in 2002, as collection of the AFS has been suspended for 2001.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Cash Operating Surplus
The preliminary estimate of farm business cash operating surplus (COS) in 1999-2000 increased by 6% to $5.8 billion. The profit margin in 1999-2000 (that is, COS as a percentage of turnover) was 20%, the same as in 1998-99. The sheep, sheep-beef, dairy cattle, poultry for eggs, pig and other agriculture industries all reported significant increases in COS while the sugar industry reported a significant decrease. The remaining industries showed little or no real change in COS.
Farm businesses with an estimated turnover of $500,000 or more accounted for 50% of COS while those with an estimated turnover of less than $50,000 accounted for less than 1% of COS.
TURNOVER AND CASH OPERATING SURPLUS
The preliminary estimate of gross indebtedness of farm businesses in 1999-2000 was $24.6 billion and showed little change from the previous year. Likewise, the estimate of interest paid ($1.7 billion) was little changed from the 1998-99 figure. The interest coverage ratio (the number of times the interest bill could be paid out of COS before the deduction of interest) was 4.4 in 1999-2000, the same as in the previous year. The turnover to debt ratio fell slightly from 1:0.88 in 1998-99 to 1:0.86 in 1999-2000 (that is for each dollar of turnover made there was 86 cents of debt).
Farm businesses with turnover of $500,000 or more accounted for 43% of the national gross farm debt while the farm businesses reporting turnover of less than $50,000 had 4% of the national gross farm debt.
DETAILS OF MAIN ITEMS
Employment in Agriculture
During the last pay period in June 2000 the estimated number of people working on farm businesses with an EVAO of over $22,500 was 313,000, little changed from the previous year. The grain-sheep/beef and fruit industries continued to be the largest employing industries with preliminary estimates indicating they were employing 44,200 and 40,100 persons, respectively, at the last pay period in June 2000.
1 The estimates in this publication have been derived from the 1999-2000 Agricultural Finance Survey (AFS). It consists of approximately 2,500 farm businesses, selected from all in-scope farm businesses. A farm business is the highest level accounting unit within a business, having regard for industry homogeneity, for which accounts are maintained.
2 The results in this publication are early estimates based on a response rate of approximately 68% of these farm businesses. Selections were made for each State and Territory and a special selection was made to cover multi-State farm businesses. In the tables, estimates for the Northern Territory are included in Australian totals. Estimates for the Australian Capital Territory are included with New South Wales. For further details on this issue, contact Nikolas Petrushevski on Hobart 03 6222 5891.
3 The population for the AFS consists of all farm businesses classified to an industry class within Subdivision 01 'Agriculture' of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), with an Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) of $22,500 or more. The financial details collected in the AFS relate to the agricultural and non-agricultural business activities of the selected farm business. Any farm business which was predominantly engaged in non-agricultural activity is excluded.
4 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample drawn from the total farm population in scope of the collections, and are subject to sampling variability; that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been produced if all farms or farm businesses had been included in the AFS. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample was taken. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all farms or farm businesses had been included, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two SEs.
5 In this publication, sampling variability of the estimates is measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. Most published estimates have RSEs less than 5%. For some estimates, RSEs are greater than 25%. If an estimate is identified by a single asterisk (e.g. *24.3) the RSE lies between 25% and 50%. If an estimate is identified by a double asterisk (i.e. **) the RSE is above 50% and the estimate is not published.
6 Some of the RSEs associated with estimates contained in this publication are relatively high. It is important for users to check that the estimates are reliable enough for the particular purpose for which they require the statistics. It is left to the user to exercise the necessary caution in using the estimates in this publication. Separate indication of the RSEs of all estimates is available on request. A table with RSEs for main items is included below.
RELATIVE STANDARD ERRORS OF SELECTED PRELIMINARY FINANCIAL STATISTICS - Year ended 30 June 2000
Changes to Definitions
7 Commencing with estimates for 1997-98, under new international standards, contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) by agricultural industries was to be measured by the item 'Industry Value Added' (IVA). Previously the corresponding contribution to GDP was measured by the item 'Industry Gross Product (IGP). It should be noted that IVA is not the same item as 'value added'. The relationship between IVA estimates and IGP estimates is: IVA equals IGP plus selected indirect taxes (for agricultural industries, the main types are fringe benefit tax, payroll tax, land rates and land taxes). Some further conceptual differences exist between IGP and IVA (particularly in relation to income from and expenditure on royalties for intellectual property and computer software not capitalised by the business). However, taking these items into account would have virtually no effect on the estimates of IVA in this publication and no attempt has been made to measure them for agricultural industries.
8 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
9 Users may wish to refer to the publication, Agriculture, Australia (Cat. no. 7113.0).
10 Current publications produced by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (Cat. no. 1101.0). The ABS also issues, on Tuesdays and Fridays, a Release Advice (Cat. no. 1105.0) which lists publications to be released in the next few days. The Catalogue and Release Advice are available from any ABS office.
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