Australia’s wheat production is expected to jump 75.9% year on year to 26.7 million mt in the 2020-21 crop year on the back of favorable weather after three consecutive years of dry conditions weighed on output, the country’s Department of Agriculture said.
This is the first forecast by ABARES for the 2020-21 (April-March) crop year.
If realized, 2020-21’s production would be an eight-year high and 13% above the 10-year average through 2019-20, ABARES said in its quarterly crop report.
The jump in the estimate is mostly the result of beneficial conditions in New South Wales, where the planting area is expected to hit an eight-year high at 3.7 million hectares, while wheat production could reach 8.3 million mt, a three-year high.
“A good season break, particularly in northern and north western cropping regions in New South Wales, is forecast to lead to a recovery in area planted to wheat after three consecutive years of very unfavorable planting conditions,” ABARES said.
Production in Western Australia, the country’s largest wheat-producing state, could reach 8.6 million mt in 2020-21, up 48.3% on the year, according to the agency.
“Less dry sowing took place this season due to timely rainfall in early May, while rainfall in late May has left most cropping regions with average upper layer soil moisture leading into winter,” it said.
While a lower rainfall forecast has been predicted in June, ABARES expects yields to be around average in Western Australia on the assumption of timely rainfall starting in July and continuing through the spring.
The other two big wheat producing states, South Australia and Victoria, are expected to see a nominal jump in their planting area.
South Australia’s 2020-21 wheat production is estimated at 4.5 million mt and Victoria’s at 3.8 million mt.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s three-month seasonal outlook for June through August indicates winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most planted regions in Queensland and New South Wales, ABARES said. In most other such regions across Australia, around average rainfall is expected, the agency added.
Australia is one of the top wheat exporters in the world, with Southeast Asia the top buyer of Australian wheat. The country’s 2020-21 wheat exports are expected to double year on year to 15 million mt, the US Department of Agriculture said in May.