December 6, 2022
Australia poised to harvest another record wheat crop
Australia, one of the biggest exporters of wheat in the world, is expected to harvest another record wheat crop this season, even though heavy rains will affect yields in eastern states of the country, Bloomberg reported.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said farmers are expected to harvest 36.6 million tonnes in 2022–2023, up 1% from the previous record-breaking season. This is also an increase of almost 14% from the forecast made in September, thanks to spring rains that benefited parts of Western Australia and South Australia.
The availability of high-grade milling wheat will be reduced as a result of quality declines in the eastern states, but more wheat from Australia should help allay concerns about limited global supplies. Concerns about how the drought in Argentina will affect the crop are growing, and ABARES predicted that persistent dryness in the US and Europe, as well as fewer exports across the Black Sea, will keep grain prices high globally.
Even after the effects of La Nina subside, there may still be supply pressure because it will take more than one season to replenish inventories, ABARES said.
ABARES also said not everyone in Australia will experience bumper production. Growing conditions in the eastern states have been complicated by widespread flooding, which has caused crop losses, flooded machinery, and damaged roads that are impeding the harvest.
The forecaster estimates that 16% of the planted area in New South Wales, 7% in Victoria, and 5% in Queensland will be lost to crop abandonment due to flooding and excessive rainfall over the spring.
Jared Greenville, executive director of ABARES, said considerable uncertainty remains over winter crop harvest progress and grain quality in New South Wales and Victoria given ongoing high rainfall, which could lead to downgrades in production value.
He predicted that harvests would likely continue well into the summer.