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West Australia Grain Regions to Get Rain as Farmers Sow Crops

Grain growers in Western Australia, the country’s second-biggest wheat-producing state last year, are set to receive rain in the coming days, boosting planting prospects as farmers sow winter crops.

Parts of the state’s southwest may get as much as 10 millimeters (0.4 inch) in the four days to May 20, according to a Bureau of Meteorology weather model that’s posted on the Melbourne-based agency’s website.

Western Australian farmers accelerated planting of winter crops including wheat after rain last week boosted soil moisture. The state’s wheat output may rebound 33 percent to 9.1 million metric tons after dry weather last season hurt output, Commonwealth Bank of Australia estimates.

“The planting outlook in Western Australia is mostly good, and rain will further boost that,” Luke Mathews, a Sydney-based commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank, said by phone today. Parts of New South Wales, particularly western regions, “need significant follow-up rain,” he said.

Wheat in Chicago is heading for a second weekly loss as warm, dry weather allows farmers in the U.S., the biggest exporter, to speed up planting delayed by a wet April. Futures traded at $6.8725 a bushel, 12 percent lower this year

Most of New South Wales, Australia’s biggest wheat-producing state last year, will remain dry, while parts of Victoria may get as much as 5 millimeters to May 20, according to the model.

Farmers in eastern Australia are sowing crops and waiting for more rain, GrainCorp Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Alison Watkins said yesterday. Planting intentions are strong amid attractive prices, she said. GrainCorp is the largest grain handler in eastern Australia.

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