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Qld FloodsAgricultural forecaster ABARES says the recent flooding in the eastern states is likely to wipe up to $600 million off the value of this year’s farm production.

ABARES says fruit, vegetables and cotton crops have been the hardest hit although livestock losses were reportedly small.

“These costs do not take into account the cost of lost farm infrastructure and assets which may amount to much more,” ABARES said.

It also predicts the value of coal exports will fall by up to $2.5 billion.

But higher coal prices as a result of short supply may help offset this.

“Production and sales of thermal and metallurgical coal will be affected because Queensland produces large quantities of both coal types,” ABARES said.

“However, it is anticipated that coal prices could be settled at higher levels, partially offsetting the adverse impact on coal industry revenues.”

Queensland accounts for 56 per cent of Australia’s black coal production and 62 per cent of the country’s coal exports.

Mine operators have been working to remove water from flooded sites as rail lines begin to reopen.

Meanwhile, a milk supplier is offering support packages to flood-affected Queensland farmers.

National Foods says it is providing financial assistance, fodder and is even coordinating farmers from non flood-affected areas to help with the clean-up.

The company says it plans to roll out the scheme in other parts of Australia.

Story source: http://www.abc.net.au

Tags: business, community, economy, floods, news

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