November 17, 2008


Wheat production forecast revised down due to dry spring


Another dry spring across South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales has resulted in the upcoming 2008-09 winter wheat harvest being revised down to 19.9 million tonnes (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics).


A very poor September and October across the southern states resulted in widespread crop failures throughout South Asia and Victoria, with combined production in both states slashed by 47 percent and 32 percent, respectively.


Victoria's wheat production for 2008-09 is now forecast to reach 1.4 million tonnes – down from 2007-08's total of 1.9 million tonnes, but still well above 2006-07's 879,000 tonnes. South Australia production is expected to reach 2.3 million tonnes.


The outlook for the wheat harvest in New South Wales differs significantly throughout the state, with above average results expected through the north, average yields through central regions, but another failure expected across southern regions.


The forecast harvest, at 6.6 million tonnes for 2008-09, is unchanged from September's forecast, but is up significantly on the harvests in both 2006-07 (2.6 million tonnes) and 2007-08 (1.8 million tonnes).


Western Australia again looks likely to provide the nation's largest wheat harvest in 2008-09, forecast to produce 7.8 million tonnes.


With the winter harvest well underway, Queensland is the only state to have its production estimates revised up since September, with wheat production expected to increase 15 percent, to 1.7 million tonnes.

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