Australia - Country Commercial Guide
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Australia is a large and stable market for U.S. agricultural and related products. It has proven to be an appealing and profitable market for U.S. companies for many years. Underpinning Australia’s strong economy is its open and transparent trade and investment environment, and strong trade and economic links with emerging economies, particularly in Asia. Since 2005, Australia and the United States have had a free trade agreement, which means nearly all products can come in tariff-free.

Asia is a prominent destination for Australian agricultural exports. As demand in Asian markets continues to grow (especially from China) the need for high-quality food increases. Boosted by Australia’s free trade agreements, its reputation for quality produce and increasing demand from Asia, Australian agricultural exporters will require more machinery to improve productivity and efficiency.  As such, Australian farmers and distributors actively look to overseas suppliers for innovative agricultural equipment, products and solutions.

Australian agriculture is fundamentally based on extensive pastoral and cropping activities. However, diversification into intensive livestock and horticultural industries is increasing. Australian agriculture utilizes a large proportion of natural resources, accounting for between 50 and 70 percent of water use annually and 60 percent of Australia’s land area. In general, approximately 70 percent of Australia’s agricultural production is exported each year. Approximately 95 percent of all agricultural machinery and equipment (including tractors) used in Australia are imported and over time the demand for Ag equipment will increase.  This makes Australia a strong prospect for American companies who supply products and services to the agricultural sector.

In 2022, Australia’s exports of agricultural, fish & forestry commodities were valued at almost AU$71 billion (US$49 billion). Australian agricultural exports (including forest and fish products) to the United States were US$4 billion. Australia imported US$1.7 billion of agricultural products from the United States. Australian imports of agricultural products from the United States have grown steadily since the FTA was implemented. Major U.S. exports to Australia include pork, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, pet food, whiskies and bourbon, and timber products.

Australia’s agricultural businesses are mainly engaged in producing beef, dairy, sheep, grains, or a mixture of two or more of these activities. In recent times, the most valuable commodities produced by Australian farmers have been beef and veal, wheat, barley, canola, milk, wool, lamb and mutton, wine, cotton, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. These products account for approximately 75 percent of production. A large portion of these products are exported, with Australian beef, wheat, barley, cotton, wine, lamb, and wool significant contributors to global markets. Australia is also an important source of cotton, sugar, and dairy products. Major customers for these exports are China, Japan, the United States, South Korea, and Indonesia.

Within Agriculture, the Australian agritech and foodtech subsectors comprise of more than 2500 farmers, startups, scaleups and enterprises. Sitting at the intersection of agriculture and technology is the Agtech industry. The Agtech industry comprises of companies who sell products and/or services enabled by patented technology - into the agriculture value chain. In Australia, A significant range of accelerators and incubators, industry groups, universities and research institutions create opportunity for US exporters and service providers.


Table: Agricultural Equipment Market Size, million USD
 2020202120222023 estimated
Total Local Production1,0341,0671,1001,205
Total Exports62646671
Total Imports1,7001,9302,2692,496
Imports from the US680772929998
Total Market Size2,6722,9333,3003,630
Exchange Rates.

(Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Units: $ millions

Source: Global Trade Atlas and Industry estimates

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Agricultural technology (Agtech) drones & Ag software
  • Ag equipment (including tractors, autonomous vehicles)
  • Ag Biotechnology
  • Alternative proteins 



A&F production systems are under pressure: with increasing demand for food for a growing population.

Farmers have encountered adverse climate change effects.

Overexploitation of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and food loss and waste.

Over the last few years, supply chain issues from COVID and the inflation effects linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine have influenced A&F companies to invest in sustainability and AgTech

Agricultural technology (Agtech), drones and software

Within the Agtech sector lies a concept known as  ‘Smart farming’ that deploys technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT supply chain technologies), artificial intelligence (AI) for farming and farm management software.  Smart farming entails the efficient use of time and resources while reducing crop losses.

As Australian farmers seek to increase their crop yields, productivity and reduce food waste – this area presents opportunity for American exporters to sell their products and services.

Ag equipment:

Areas of opportunity include farm robotics & mechanization: autonomous tractors, drone manufacturers & grow equipment. Robots and drones are replacing traditional farm operations such as picking fruits, killing weeds, or spraying water or fertilizer on crops. The use of agricultural robots in supply chains help farmers to reduce inputs – pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.  Case studies include Illinois based John Deere, which will export autonomous battery-powered electric tractors to Australia by 2026.

Ag Biotechnology:

Areas of focus include On-farm inputs for crop & animal ag, includes genetics, soil microbiomes, breeding, animal health- which allow farmers to maximize productivity and sustainability.

Alternative proteins:

This subsector includes plant proteins, precision fermentation, cellular meat, and novel proteins (insects, algae).

Australian consumers are becoming more health conscious and concerned with the environmental impact of industrially grown produce and meats. There’s an interest in reducing the carbon footprint created by animal farming.

Post COVID 19, consumers have focused on healthier eating including alternatives to meat protein. 

In 2020, data from Food Frontier showed that Australia has become the  third fastest-growing market for plant-based foods, generating A$185 million (USD123 million) in sales.

American companies such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat and others have found success in the Australian market. The alternative protein trend will continue with the entrance of other foreign alternative protein exporters.