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Grain Harvest in Western Australia Seen Reduced by Dry Weather

Grain output in Western Australia, poised to be the country’s biggest wheat producer, may be curbed for a second year by dry weather, according to marketer Plum Grove Pty Ltd.

“Average, in total, is 10.3 million tons,” Andrew Young, managing director at the Fremantle-based company, said in an interview in Melbourne today, referring to the usual annual production for all grains. “We would probably be somewhere around 8.5 million at best.”

The state wheat crop tumbled 38 percent to 6.9 million tons last year after dry weather curbed yields. Output may rebound to 8.8 million tons this year on increased area, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences forecast in June. The state’s south had an extraordinarily dry June and southwest regions had near-average rainfall in May, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

“Unless we get a massive amount of spring rain, we’re at best average to just below average,” said Young. “Parts of the eastern Wheatbelt, around Merredin and north of Merredin, some areas are a write-off.”

Grain regions in the state have a roughly equal chance of a wetter- or drier-than-normal period from August to October, the weather bureau said July 24. Mitsui & Co. has a 25 percent stake in Plum Grove.

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