August 18, 2011


Australian rain to improve wheat crop



Although rains in parts of New South Wales and Victoria are expected to enhance the outlook of this year's wheat crop, area that cultivates prime hard wheat is still dry, thus, bringing up concerns for the output of high-protein grains, according to Reuters.


Analysts and traders said southern areas of New South Wales and Victoria have received widespread showers which are expected to improve yields for Australian prime and standard varieties of wheat.


"More rains across winters and spring are very good for the wheat crop," said one Sydney-based analyst. "It is mainly APW and ASW which have been benefiting from these rains."


A higher output of wheat in Australia, typically the world's fourth-largest exporter, could weigh on the benchmark Chicago prices <Wc1>, which rose for a seventh straight session on concerns over US wheat crop.


Chicago wheat futures rose 0.8% on Wednesday (Aug 17) to trade near a two-month top as concerns over US spring wheat yields and expectations of delays in winter crop planting supported the market.


Australia remains on track to produce an above average crop in 2011/12 provided weather conditions stay benign ahead of the harvest in the last quarter.


The country is expected to produce 26.2 million tonnes of wheat this year, just below a record 26.3 million in 2010/11, and the quality as of now is expected to be better than last year's rain-damaged grains.


"Temperatures look set to drop by five to 10 degrees on Wednesday (Aug 17) and Thursday (Aug 18), bringing the wind wet and cold across south-eastern Australia," according to private forecaster Weatherzone.


"The cold change will bring rain and affect a large area of the region."


Still, Australia's region which produces high-protein prime hard wheat is remaining dry, causing stress to the crop.


"There is rain forecast for Victoria and parts of southern New South Wales but not up in the north of the state, it does not look like there is a lot there at the moment," said a senior forecaster at Australian Crop Forecasters.

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