Australia’s winter crop seen falling sharply on lower yields, says ABARES

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Photo courtesy - Global Pulse Confederation

Australia’s total 2017-18 winter crop production is seen falling by as much as 41 percent to 35.1 million tonnes due to an expected decline in average yields, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural an resource Economics and Science (ABARES) said in its latest report.

Wheat production is forecast to fall by 42% in 2017-18 to 20.3 million tonnes. Lower production is forecast in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, compared with 2016-17.

“Prospects for total winter crop production in Australia fell slightly during spring but there was significant regional variation,” ABARES said in its quarterly report, adding that the condition of crops varied substantially at the start of spring and seasonal conditions during spring were mixed.

According to ABARES, the two changes to state-level crop prospects over spring with most significance for national level production were in Western Australia and New South Wales.

“In Western Australia, favorable seasonal conditions boosted crop prospects in all cropping regions. In the northern and central east cropping regions, crops were generally in very poor condition at the start of spring and the favorable finish to the season averted failure for many of these crops. In contrast, seasonal conditions were very unfavorable during spring in most New South Wales cropping regions and adversely affected crop prospects,” the report said.

The report said that yields in most regions were expected to be well below average.

Crop prospects also deteriorated significantly in Queensland over spring, but this change will have a much smaller effect on expected national production than the changes in Western Australia and New South Wales. In Victoria and South Australia, regional changes to crop prospects over spring varied but changes to forecast state level production are relatively small.

“Harvest is under way in many regions but progress has been slowed during November by rainfall events. According to the latest rainfall outlook, issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 30 November 2017 December is likely to be wetter than average in south-east cropping regions.”

Wheat production:

  • In New South Wales, wheat production is forecast to decrease by 58% to around 4.8 million tonnes, which would be the smallest wheat crop since 2007-08.
  • Wheat production in Western Australia is forecast to decrease by 25% in 2017-18, by 59%
  • In Queensland, by 45%
  • in South Australia
  • and by 32% in Victoria.

Barley production is forecast to fall by 40% in 2017-18 to 8 million tonnes

  • led by a 56% forecast decline in New South Wales
  • a 36% forecast decline in Victoria.
  • by 45% in 2017-18 to 1.7 million tonnes in South Australia
  • by 29% in Western Australia.

Canola production is forecast to decline by 31% in 2017-18 to 2.9 million tonnes.

  • led by 52% in 2017-18 to 403,000 tonnes in New South Wales
  • by 6% in Victoria to 660,000 tonnes
  • by 36% in South Australia to 250,000 tonnes
  • by 30% in Western Australia to 1.5 million tonnes.

Prashant has worked in the publishing industry for 17 years. His keen interest in commodities developed while working for organisations such as like Thomson Reuters, Wolters Kluwer & McGraw-Hill eventually brought him here. In his free time, Prashant consults with businesses in the digital space.

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