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Australia’s Eastern Grain Regions Set for Crop-Boosting Rains

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- Eastern grain-growing regions in Australia, the world’s second-biggest wheat exporter, are set to receive rain this week, boosting production prospects just as dry weather threatens supply from the U.S., the biggest shipper.

Most of New South Wales, the country’s second-largest wheat grower, and Victoria may get between 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) and 25 millimeters in the four days to July 14, according to a Bureau of Meteorology forecast today. Parts of eastern New South Wales may get between 25 millimeters and 100 millimeters in the period, according to a weather model on the bureau’s website.

Wheat in Chicago rose this week to the highest level since April 2011 as dry weather from the U.S. to Russia threatened to reduce global harvests. Australia may produce 24.1 million metric tons of wheat this season, 6.2 percent below a previous estimate, after dry weather curbed plantings, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said on June 13. Last year’s harvest was a record 29.5 million tons.

“We are certainly more optimistic for prospects for Australian grain and oilseed production for the 2012-2013 season given this current rain event,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said from Sydney.

The Murray-Darling Basin, which produces about a third of Australia’s food supply, may have its heaviest and most widespread rainfall since March, forecaster Weatherzone said yesterday. Water storage was at 92 percent of capacity as of June 26, according to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Wheat for September delivery rose as much as 0.6 percent to $8.265 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, and was at $8.2625 at 10:35 a.m. in Singapore. The most-active contract reached $8.4475 on July 9.

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at

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