Improved Weather Conditions Set to Boost Australia's Wheat Output
Improved Weather Conditions Set to Boost Australia's Wheat Output

Improved Weather Conditions Set to Boost Australia's Wheat Output

  • 05-Mar-2024 4:04 PM
  • Journalist: Xiang Hong

Australia's wheat production outlook appears promising for the upcoming season, thanks to improved weather conditions enhancing planting prospects after a year of extreme weather events characterized by heavy rains and scorching temperatures.

Forecasts indicate that wheat production is poised to reach 28.4 million tons in the 2024-25 season, marking a notable 9% surge compared to the previous year. Moreover, expectations are similarly bullish for barley and canola output, with projections indicating an uptick. The anticipated rise in winter crop production primarily stems from ameliorated conditions observed across the eastern states, signaling a positive trajectory for the upcoming season. Encouragingly, the presence of adequate soil moisture levels augurs well for the cultivation period.

Australia recently revised its estimate for wheat output in the 2023-24 season, marginally increasing it to 26 million tons following the conclusion of the main winter crop harvest. However, the quality of the harvest was somewhat mixed due to rainfall in the eastern regions, which adversely affected some grain varieties. Canola production also experienced a slight uptick during this period.

The commencement of the harvest occurred earlier than usual and proceeded at an accelerated pace, particularly attributed to hot and dry conditions prevailing across most states, including Western Australia, the nation's primary wheat-producing region. Despite the expedited harvesting process, overall wheat output is still anticipated to register a 36% decline compared to the previous bumper crop. Notably, a higher proportion of wheat grains were classified as high protein grades compared to the preceding three La Niña years, particularly noticeable in Western Australia and South Australia.

Furthermore, the broader grains production outlook for the 2024-25 season is optimistic, with expectations indicating a climb to 51 million tons, reflecting a substantial 9% surge above the 10-year average. Barley production forecasts for the same period project an increase to 11.6 million tons from the previous 10.8 million tons, while canola production is anticipated to rise to 6.1 million tons, up from 5.7 million tons.

The nominal gross value of crop production in the 2024-25 season is anticipated to witness a 2% uptick to A$49 billion ($32 billion), propelled by the favorable climatic conditions bolstering wheat, barley, and canola output. Despite the uptick in production, export volumes of these three key crops are expected to decline as domestic stocks are replenished, and a portion of the grain is redirected towards animal feed. Consequently, this adjustment is anticipated to result in a reduction in the value of shipments by A$1.7 billion in 2024-25, reaching A$14.9 billion.

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