September 6, 2022
Australia expects record agricultural export revenues thanks to bumper wheat harvests
Australia's top commodity forecaster has predicted that Australian farmers will make a record amount from agriculture exports this fiscal year as a result of favourable weather and high international prices, Reuters reported.
Farm export revenues may reach a record AUD 70.3 billion (~US$48 billion; AUD 1 = US$0.68) for 2022–2023, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). That is an increase of about 8% from the June forecast.
Over the past two years, La Nina, which is frequently accompanied by increased rainfall, has dominated Australia's east coast. The weather pattern brought good rains to the eastern wheat belt while also causing flooding in a few locations.
ABARES projected a harvest of 6.6 million tonnes of canola and 32.2 million tonnes of wheat, falling just short of the records set last year. The anticipated 12.3 million tonnes of barley production would rank fourth in history.
Jared Greenville, ABARES executive director, said winter crop prospects in Australia are looking very promising at the start of spring; they are forecasting a 55.5 million tonne harvest.
With adequate soil moisture and more land that was fallow during the winter, planting of summer crops is expected to be well above average for the current season.
After Russia's war in Ukraine restricted shipments from one of the top grain exporting regions, the forecast may provide relief. The conflict has reduced the availability of food globally, driving up prices.
Although favourable seasonal conditions are anticipated to last, Greenville warned that a bumper crop could be overshadowed by soaring global inflation, a weak Chinese economy, and rising fertiliser and farm equipment prices.
Greenville said the most recent forecasts also account for slowing global growth and the possibility of a third consecutive La Nina, a weather phenomenon that occurs about once every 30 years.
Australia's weather service warned last month that there was a 70% chance that La Nina would return in the spring.