STATISTICS OF FARM BUSINESSES
is the sum of gross proceeds from the sales of crops, livestock,
livestock products and other miscellaneous revenue, and is a good
guide to the level of farm business activity. The average turnover
per farm business increased by 2% to $275,000 during 1999-2000 and
was due to an increase in total turnover, since the estimated number
of farm businesses had increased for the first time in several years.
1999-2000, 24,000 or 23% of Australian farm businesses had a turnover
of $300,000 or more, and contributed 66% of the total turnover of all
Australian farms. Their average turnover was $778,000 and the average
cash operating surplus (a measure of profitability) was $138,000. The
farm business profit margin (the ratio of cash operating surplus to
turnover) for these businesses was 18%.
the other end of the scale, 19,000 farms (18%) had a turnover of less
than $50,000. These farm businesses contributed only 2% of the total
turnover, at an average of $33,000. These farms had an average cash
operating surplus of $1,000 per farm, which equated to a farm
business profit margin of 3%.
1999-2000, the overall farm business profit margin was 24%, up from
20% in 1998-99.
farm businesses owed a total of $26.2b at 30 June 2000, an 8%
increase on 1998-99. The aggregate debt has risen steadily from
$11.5b in 1986-87 when the current series of agricultural finance
surveys began. There was, however, a wide range of debt levels among
individual farm businesses, with a third of all farm businesses
having a debt of less than $22,000 (with 20% reporting no debt), a
third having between $22,000 and $200,000 and a third having more
than $200,000. Overall, the median debt per farm business was $87,000
at 30 June 2000. The total interest bill for Australian farm
businesses, at $2.0b, was 17% higher than in 1998-99.
average debt to asset ratio for agricultural businesses has been
trending down slowly.
there has been an increase in the average
interest coverage of agricultural businesses, from 4.4 times in
1998-99 to 4.7 times in 1999-2000, reflecting the impact of a 25%
increase in cash operating surplus and a 13% rise in interest paid.