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Australia’s Grain-Growing Areas to Get Rain Before Sowing

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Grain-growing regions in Australia, the second-biggest wheat exporter, may receive rain in the next week, boosting soil moisture as farmers prepare to sow crops.

Most of eastern New South Wales and Victoria may get 15 millimeters (0.6 inches) to 25 millimeters in the eight days to April 26, according to a model on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website. Some regions may get 50 millimeters, it shows. Western Australia’s main grain-growing region may get as much as 10 millimeters, the bureau said.

Growers need rain to plant winter crops including wheat, barley and canola. The nation’s wheat output may drop 13 percent to 25.7 million metric tons this year as farmers switch to barley and canola on better returns, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said March 6.

“Rainfall promises favorable conditions for winter-crop seeding across the eastern states,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note today. Western Australia’s grain belt may receive timely and favorable rain, he wrote, citing a four-week forecast.

Wheat has lost 5.1 percent in Chicago this year as concern eased that drought in the U.S. and Europe may damage crops, while canola on ICE Futures Canada has climbed 8.3 percent.

Rain associated with a La Nina weather pattern helped boost Australia’s wheat output to a record last harvest, while wet weather this year has increased soil moisture ahead of planting that begins in late-April to early-May.

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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