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Australia’s Eastern Grain Crops Seen Boosted as Rains Forecast

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Grain-growing regions in parts of eastern Australia are set for a wetter-than-normal three months, boosting wheat-production prospects before harvesting.

The chance of exceeding median rainfall for August to October is more than 80 percent in southern New South Wales, most of Victoria and southeast South Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology said on its website today. Grain regions in Western Australia have a roughly equal chance of a wetter- or drier-than-normal three months, it said.

Wheat output in Australia, the third-biggest exporter, is set to gain 15 percent to 25.4 million metric tons in 2013-2014, the government estimates. Wheat tumbled 16 percent in Chicago this year as the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts world production to climb 6.5 percent to a record 697.8 million tons in 2013-2014 on bigger harvests in Russia and the European Union. Australian farmers begin harvesting from about November.

“It’s positive for production on the east coast,” said Paul Deane, an agricultural economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne. “In Western Australia, the risk there is increasingly for average at best yields, or even below-trend.”

Western Australia may overtake New South Wales as the country’s biggest producer after dry weather curbed output last year, the Australia Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said in June. The U.S. was the biggest exporter in 2012-2013, followed by the E.U. and Australia, according to the USDA.

To contact the reporter on 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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