October 15, 2003
Australian Wheat Exports Seen At 17.5 Million Tons
Australian wheat exports (marketing year) will nearly double this year to 17.5 million tons due to markedly larger exportable supplies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday in its "Grain: World Markets and Trade" report.
Wheat production is forecast at 24 million tons, an increase of over 14 million tons from last year's drought-devastated crop. While production in other major wheat supplying countries - the United States, Canada and Argentina - will also recover from last year's low levels, only Australian and U.S. exports are expected to exceed 2001/02 levels.
Australia will export more to some Asian markets because of less competition from nontraditional exporters, particularly India. As higher prices, transportation problems, and government policies reduce India's competitiveness, exports are forecast to drop from 5 million tons to 2 million. Australia had already made sales to key Mediterranean markets such as Egypt. Its market share in this region is expected to increase as wheat from the Black Sea region and EU is less available. With prospects of a near-record harvest, Australia's competition with the United States is expected to intensify.