Mixed re­sult on crop out­put

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Aus­tralia is likely to ex­pe­ri­ence one of the most mixed win­ter crop har­vests in years, with West­ern Aus­tralia on track for above-av­er­age wheat pro­duc­tion while tough con­di­tions have led to a well­be­low-av­er­age har­vest in the east­ern states.

Re­leased on No­vem­ber 21, the lat­est In Fo­cus: Grain re­port, from NAB Agribusi­ness, shows that na­tional wheat pro­duc­tion has come back from the 17.4 mil­lion tonnes fore­cast last month to sit at 16.9 mil­lion tonnes.

NAB Agribusi­ness econ­o­mist Phin Ziebell said state-by-state pro­duc­tion var­ied greatly, with West­ern Aus­tralia streets ahead of other states.

‘‘We pre­dict that West­ern Aus­tralia will pro­duce 9.1 mil­lion tonnes of wheat this sea­son, which is 108 per cent of the 10-year av­er­age of 8.4 mil­lion tonnes,’’ Mr Ziebell said.

‘‘At the same time, NSW will likely pro­duce just over a quar­ter of its 10-year av­er­age, with only 2.1 mil­lion tonnes of wheat to be har­vested.

‘‘South Aus­tralia and Vic­to­ria will see be­low-av­er­age har­vests as well, pro­duc­ing 3 mil­lion tonnes and 2.4 mil­lion tonnes re­spec­tively.’’

Do­mes­tic grain prices re­main at ex­treme lev­els com­pared to in­ter­na­tional bench­marks, and while ASX wheat has soft­ened from a Septem­ber peak near $450/tonne, any fur­ther re­duc­tion will de­pend heav­ily on sea­sonal con­di­tions.

‘‘ASX wheat is cur­rently trad­ing at around $415/tonne,’’ Mr Ziebell said.

‘‘While this is still well above global bench­marks, if the kin­der sum­mer weather out­look for the east­ern states even­tu­ates we could see de­mand soften due to bet­ter sum­mer crop and pas­ture avail­abil­ity.

‘‘On the other hand, if dry con­di­tions per­sist then feed will be in even shorter sup­ply and we could see many live­stock pro­duc­ers mov­ing to im­ple­ment one-year feed plans.’’

De­spite the Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy slat­ing a 70 per cent chance of an El Nin˜ o de­vel­op­ing, the lat­est three-month out­look is look­ing more pos­i­tive for NSW and parts of Vic­to­ria.

‘‘The lat­est BoM out­look shows a wet­ter-than-av­er­age pe­riod for much of NSW and parts of Vic­to­ria, which is very wel­come given pro­longed drought con­di­tions in much of east­ern Aus­tralia,’’ Mr Ziebell said.

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