Australia trims wheat crop estimate, curbing global supplies

Australia’s wheat production is likely to be lower than forecast after dry conditions and below-average rainfall in some growing regions.

he government trimmed its estimate by 3 percent from June to 25.4 million tons, putting the crop on track for a 36 percent decline from the record harvest a year earlier, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. Wheat is a major winter crop in Australia with planting from April and the harvest starting in November.

Even less wheat from major exporter Australia may come as a blow to international buyers such as China, which could need more imports after rain hurt its crop. Extreme weather from scorching temperatures to flooding has left crops across the world damaged, exacerbating supply pressures as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to crimp Black Sea cargoes.

China has been the top wheat importer from Australia in the last two years.

While dry and hot conditions are expected to harm yields in areas with low soil moisture, higher rainfall has boosted the outlook for some growers in southern New South Wales, Victoria and southern cropping regions in Western Australia. Below average rainfall is expected for most of Australia in the coming months, according to a forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology.

The government increased its barley and canola crop estimates from June. Barley output is now forecast at 10.5 million tons, up from 9.9 million tons seen three months ago, but down 26 percent from a year earlier. The canola crop is estimated at 5.2 million tons, up from 4.9 million tons seen three months ago, but still down 38 percent from a year earlier.

This article has been republished from CNBC TV 18

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