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4306.0 - Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs, Australia, 1997-98 and 1998-99  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/10/2000  Ceased
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This publication contains detailed statistics of the apparent consumption of foodstuffs in Australia for 1997-98 and 1998-99, as well as comparative data for earlier years. Historical data published in table 1 refers to averages for the three-year periods ending 1938-39, 1948-49, 1958-59, 1968-69, 1978-79 and 1988-89. This publication draws extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. In previous years preliminary statistics covering major food items were published in Apparent Consumption of Selected Foodstuffs, Australia, Preliminary (Cat. no. 4315.0). The final release of this publication was Apparent Consumption of Selected Foodstuffs, Australia, Preliminary (Cat. no. 4315.0) 1997-98 published in November 1998.

Details of nutrient intake in Australia are no longer included in this publication. These nutrient levels are compiled by officers of the Nutrition Monitoring Unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Users of these data should contact AIHW directly.


The figures shown in this publication have been revised where necessary and as a consequence may not agree with similar data shown in previous publications.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact Karen Connaughton on Canberra 02 6252 5337, or the National Information Service on 1300 135 070.



The apparent per capita consumption of total carcass meat decreased by 2.3% to 71.6 kg in 1998-99, compared with a fall of 1.2% to 73.3 kg in 1997-98. Exports of meat (1,660,493 tonnes) accounted for 55% of the total supply, leaving 45% available for domestic consumption. While there was a small rise in commercial production between 1997-98 and 1998-99, an increase in exports resulted in a drop in the quantity available for domestic consumption. Of the total meat available for consumption during 1998-99, beef and veal accounted for 51%.

Per capita consumption of meat and meat products

In 1998-99 the per capita consumption of beef fell by 3.6% to 34.9 kg. This compares with a fall of 4.2% in 1997-98 when the consumption of beef was 36.2 kg per capita. Veal consumption fell 21.5% to 1.5 kg per capita in 1998-99 after a slight rise of 5.8% in 1997-98 to 1.9 kg. Consumption of beef and veal has been steadily decreasing since the peak consumption period of the late 1970s.

The per capita consumption of lamb rose 6.6% to 11.8 kg in 1998-99, after a fall in 1997-98 of 0.6% to 11.0 kg. Since the late 1930s, lamb consumption has grown from a low of 6.8 kg to a 20.5 kg per capita peak in the late 1960s followed by a steady decline to the current level.

The per capita consumption of mutton fell in 1997-98 by 5% to 5.7 kg. This was followed by a large decline in 1998-99 of 21.1% to 4.5 kg . This figure was 47.0% below the 8.4 kg per capita consumption recorded in 1993-94. The long term decline in the consumption of mutton reflects the increase in availability of more palatable substitutes such as lamb and chicken, as well as changes in consumer tastes.

Consumption of pigmeat rose by 2.4% to 19.0 kg per capita in 1998-99. In the late 1930s the consumption of pigmeat was only 3.9 kg per capita. The per capita consumption of bacon and ham grew in 1997-98 by 3.0% and then remained steady in 1998-99 at 8.7 kg. This per capita consumption figure was 17.9% higher than the 1993-94 level of 7.4 kg.


The apparent per capita consumption of poultry increased by 3.8% in 1998-99 to a high of 30.8 kg. This was 9.4% up on the per capita consumption recorded in 1993-94. Poultry intake has more than trebled from the 8.3 kg per capita consumption derived in the late 1960s.


When compared with the previous year's apparent per capita intake of 10.8 kg the consumption of total seafood rose by 1.2% in 1998-99 to 10.9 kg. In 1998-99 the consumption of Australian fish fell by 7.0% to 3.6 kg per capita while consumption of imported fish rose by 7.8% to 4.5 kg. During this period (1998-99), the per capita consumption of crustacea and molluscs rose slightly by 3.9% to 2.9 kg. Since 1993-94 total seafood per capita consumption has risen 6.1%. This follows a longer term trend showing the consumption of seafood increasing dramatically since the late 1930s when intake was 4.9 kg per capita.


Between the years 1997-98 and 1998-99 the apparent per capita consumption of total dairy products (excluding 'infants and invalids foods') increased slightly to 23.3 kg. The per capita consumption of full cream condensed, concentrated and evaporated milk remained constant at 0.4 kg between 1997-98 and 1998-99 but the skim milk component rose by 49.6% to 1.0 kg in 1998-99. Per capita consumption of powdered milk decreased considerably between the years of 1996-97 and 1997-98 with a reduction of 30.6% for full cream and 21.8% for skim milk. This was followed by a decrease of 3.3% for full cream powder in 1998-99 and a rise of 1.3% for skim milk powder in 1998-99. Per capita consumption of cheese rose by 0.5% to 10.7 kg in 1998-99 and market milk consumption dropped slightly, by 0.6%, to 102.4 kg per capita.


The apparent consumption of fruit (including fruit for fruit juices) increased by 8.3% to 135.0 kg per capita in 1998-99, following an increase of 2.6% to 124.7 kg in the previous year. The recorded per capita consumption has increased about 56.1% since the late 1960s and 71.5% since the late 1930s.

Per capita consumption of fruit and fruit products:

The increased consumption in 1998-99 was largely due to a 21.7% increase in the available per capita consumption of citrus of which oranges are the major component. Imports of fresh and processed oranges increased to 602,610 tonnes, 57.0% of the total supply while commercial production of oranges contributed 445,840 tonnes (42.0%) of supply.

Per capita consumption of processed fruit rose by 0.9% to 6.8 kg while dried fruit consumption also rose by 4.1% to 3.0 kg per capita. In contrast to citrus the per capita consumption of other fresh fruit fell in 1998-99 by 0.5% to 55.4 kg.


In 1998-99 the total apparent per capita consumption of vegetables was 162.0 kg. This figure was up by 45.0 kg compared with the late 1950s when the recorded consumption was 117.1 kg per capita.

Although per capita consumption of potatoes fell by 5.8% to 68.0 kg in 1998-99, it remains the most popular vegetable. Other root and bulb vegetables showed an increase of 2.9% during that period to a per capita consumption figure of 24.4 kg. The consumption of tomatoes increased to 24.9 kg per capita in 1998-99. This level of consumption was preceded by a fall in per capita consumption of tomatoes by 19.3% in 1997-98 to 20.9 kg followed by a rise in 1998-99 of 18.9%. The per capita consumption of leafy and green vegetables fell 6.5% in 1998-99 to 19.5 kg, following a decrease of 3.2% in 1997-98. The other vegetables group showed an increase in per capita consumption in 1998-99 up 4.6% to 25.1 kg per capita.

Per capita consumption of vegetables


Egg consumption declined in 1998-99 by 1.9% to 137 eggs per capita, compared with the previous year when consumption rose by 6.4% to 140 eggs. In the longer term, egg consumption has also shown a decline with intake considerably less than the 255 eggs available for consumption in the late 1940s.


Wheaten flour available for consumption rose by 1.7% in 1997-98 to 68.4 kg per capita and again in 1998-99 up by 1.9% to 69.7 kg. Overall total breakfast food consumption has increased by 2.3% to 7.9 kg per capita in 1998-99. This correlates with an increase in both the consumption of oatmeal and rolled oats, up 2.2% to 1.0 kg per capita in 1998-99, and the per capita consumption of other breakfast foods (from grain), up 2.4% to 6.9 kg per capita. Rice per capita consumption has increased by 27.0% since 1993-94, however there was a slight drop of 3.0% in 1998-99 to 7.1 kg per capita. The per capita consumption of bread increased marginally to 53.4 kg over the two-year period to 1998-99.


After a decrease of 14.6% in 1997-98 the apparent per capita consumption of peanuts rose by 16.2% to 2.3 kg in 1998-99. The per capita consumption of tree nuts fell in 1998-99 by 5.8% to 4.8 kg per capita.


In 1998-99, the apparent consumption of fats fell 0.8% to 18.5 kg per capita, this compares with a 2.9% rise in 1997-98. The most significant contributor to this decline in the per capita consumption was margarine. Consumption of margarine other than table margarine dropped by 16.6% to a per capita consumption of 1.9 kg. The total consumption of margarine has recorded a fall of 18.6% from the level of 7.9 kg in 1993-94. Butter intake rose in 1998-99 by 1.9% to 2.9 kg per capita. Consumption of dairy blends was up by 7.5% to 0.8 kg.


Total apparent sugar consumption decreased in 1998-99 by 8.6% to 43.4 kg per capita, compared with the increased intake of sugar in 1997-98 by 5.8% to 47.5 kg per capita. This drop is attributable to the drop in consumption of total cane sugar which fell by 10.5% from 42.0 kg per capita in 1997-98 to 37.6 kg per capita in 1998-99.

Honey consumption also declined by 19.8% to 0.5 kg per capita.

Per capita consumption of sugars


The per capita consumption of tea increased by 12.8% to 0.9 kg and coffee increased by 2.7% to 2.4 kg in 1998-99. Carbonated and aerated waters increased by 3.7% to 113.0 litres per capita, making it the most popular beverage. The consumption of carbonated and aerated beverages has continued to increase from the late 1980s figure of 87.4 litres consumed per capita.

The apparent per capita consumption of low alcohol beer showed a fall of 0.4% in 1998-99 to 24.7 litres per capita. The previous year recorded a rise in consumption of 3.1%. The consumption of other beer fell by 1.7% in 1998-99 to 68.5 litres per capita. Total beer consumption fell overall by 1.4% in 1998-99 to 93.2 litres per capita. Per capita beer consumption is now at a level similar to that of the late 1950s, since peaking at over 140 litres per capita in the mid 1970s. This reduction reflects changes in consumer tastes towards wine, the increase in availability of quality, competitively priced table wine, and an overall reduction in alcohol intake.

Per capita consumption of total beer

Wine per capita consumption increased by 3.4% in 1997-98 and 1.1% in 1998-99 to 19.8 litres per capita. This is a 6.7% increase on the 1993-94 per capita consumption figure of 18.6 litres. Consumption of wine has increased more than threefold since the late 1940s when intake was 5.9 litres per capita.


The trends in the consumption of beer and wine are reflected in the apparent per capita consumption of alcohol (expressed in terms of alcohol content). The per capita consumption of alcohol has fallen by 1.5% in 1998-99 to 7.51 litres per capita. This is 3.7% down on the 1993-94 figure. Low alcohol beer fell 0.4% to 0.76 litres per capita in 1998-99, however since 1993-94, consumption of alcohol consumed as low alcohol beer has increased 13.6%. Alcohol consumed as other beer also fell in 1998-99 by 2.4% to 3.25 litres per capita. Alcohol consumed as wine rose by 0.8% in 1998-99. The consumption of alcohol as spirits decreased 3.6% in 1998-99 to 1.24 litres per capita. Longer term trends in the consumption of alcohol show that alcohol intake in 1998-99 was more than double that of the late 1930s, but is 21.7% down on the intake in the late 1970s.

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