Dry Outlook for Western Australia May Boost Crop-Stress Concern

Grain regions in Western Australia, set to be the country’s biggest wheat producer, may receive no rain for the next three days, boosting concern that dry weather will increase crop stress.

The state’s southwest is forecast to remain dry through to June 30, according to a model on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website. Grain regions in eastern parts of New South Wales may get as much as 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) in the period.

Western Australia is set to overtake New South Wales as Australia’s biggest wheat producer this year, helping increase national production 15 percent to 25.4 million metric tons, the government estimates. Wheat in Chicago has tumbled 13 percent this year as the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects global production will climb 6.1 percent as bigger harvests in Australia and Canada counter a smaller U.S. crop.

“Much of the Western Australia grain belt has observed less than 40 percent of the normal monthly rainfall in June,” placing stress on crops, Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia wrote in a note today. “A significant improvement in rainfall is required in July to place Western Australia yield potentials back on track.”

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