Beef industry has most rural debt

QUEENSLAND'S beef industry alone holds more than half of the state's rural debt, holding $9.18 billion of the $16.9 billion currently hanging over the agricultural industries.

A State Government report from QRAA - formerly Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority - found debt for rural producers grew 19% between 2009 and 2011.

That equated to each borrower now owing an average of $1.073 million.

However, although the industry has faced a number of storms since 2011, this report was not necessarily one of them.

QRAA chairman Wayne Carlson said 86% of all debt was rated "A" or "B+" indicating while the borrower might be having some trouble paying the loan, they were considered a safe bet.

Mr Carlson said there was confidence in Queensland's agribusiness as a key investment.

"Impacts of natural disaster as well as the live export ban in May 2011 have, no doubt, played a role in the increase in debt amongst Queensland's beef producers," Mr Carlson said.

Four regions were shouldering the majority of this red ink, with the Central South Coast with 21.6%, Maranoa and Western Downs with 20.9%, Central with 15.7% and the Tropical North Coast with 12.1%.


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