Australia, the world’s fourth-biggest wheat exporter, increased its production estimate after rains boosted soil moisture, adding to global supply.
Output is set to reach 25.4 million metric tons in 2013-2014 from 24.9 million tons estimated in March and 22.1 million tons a year earlier, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, or Abares, said today. Exports may decline to 19.6 million tons in the year starting Oct. 1 from 20.1 million tons, it said.
Global wheat prices tumbled into a bear market in January on expectations that world production will jump 6.9 percent to a record as expanding harvests from Canada to Russia counter torrential spring rain in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Australia’s eastern regions are set for a wetter-than-normal winter, boosting the outlook for production after some farmers started sowing crops into dry soil.
In eastern states and South Australia, “recent rainfall has generally improved conditions for planting after cropping regions generally experienced very dry conditions during autumn,” today’s report said. “With soil moisture presently at low levels, yields will likely be lower than currently assumed if crops do not receive favorable rainfall while growing and developing.”
The bureau lowered its area planted to wheat to 13.7 million hectares from 13.8 million hectares estimated in March. Australia’s canola production is forecast at 3.2 million tons, up from 2.9 million tons forecast in March, Abares said. Barley output was predicted at 7.4 million tons from a March estimate of 7.8 million tons.
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