Australia forecasts wheat crop of 24.5 million tonnes in 2013-14

by Jay Sjerven
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CANBERRA — The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) on Sept. 10 forecast Australian wheat production in 2013-14 at 24,467,000 tonnes, up 2,388,000 tonnes, or 11%, from 22,079,000 tonnes in 2012-13 and compared with 24,530,000 tonnes as the recent five-year average outturn. The September forecast was down 4% from the projection issued in June at 25,399,000 tonnes.

The September forecast was based on an estimated area planted at 13,712,000 hectares, which was up 469,000 hectares, or 4%, from 13,243,000 hectares in 2012-13 and compared with 13,612,000 acres as the recent five-year average. Average yield in the current year was forecast at 1.78 tonnes per hectare compared with 1.67 tonnes per hectare in 2012-13 and 1.8 tonnes per hectare as the five-year average.

ABARES commented, “Given the hot and dry conditions experienced in some areas, sufficient and timely spring rainfall will be critical to realizing the forecast winter crop production. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s latest rainfall outlook, issued on Aug. 21, 2013, favors a wetter-than-average spring across most of the winter cropping zones in the eastern states and around average spring rainfall for Western Australia.”

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