September rain boosts east coast production

September rain boosts east coast production

Agribusiness
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A bumper winter crop is expected for eastern Australia after widespread rain across NSW and Victoria last week.

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Eastern Australia will see one of its largest winter crops ever after widespread rain across NSW and Victoria last week.

As has been the pattern through most of the season, Queensland farmers missed most of the rain apart from apart from light showers in the Maranoa and Western Downs.

Many expect NSW will harvest its largest ever winter crop with most of the state receiving 150 to 200 per cent of its normal growing season rainfall. Private forecasters are projecting bumper yields across the state with the total wheat crop now expected to be around 11.5 million tonnes.

If realised this would comfortably exceed the previous record large state harvest of about 10mt in 2016-17. The state is also set to harvest massive barley and canola crops.

Favourable weather patterns have also extended into Victoria which also enjoyed general soaking rain in the past week.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George.

Although seasonal conditions have been less favourable in Queensland, winter grain production is expected to be significantly higher than the previous two seasons. Private forecasters expect Queensland wheat production of around 800,000 tonnes, nearly double last year's dismal total.

A larger Queensland winter grain harvest and the massive crop in NSW comes as welcome news for intensive animal industries. Queensland feedlots and other intensive animal sectors were forced to trans-ship millions of tonnes of grain from WA and SA over the past 30 months after northern grain output was slashed by drought.

Australian grain prices were buoyed by a 3.5pc decline in the Australian dollar last week. Benchmark ASX east coast milling wheat futures ended the week around $10 higher at $300 while barley was up $11 at $236.

New crop bids into southern Queensland rallied with stockfeed wheat up $12 to $300 delivered into the Darling Downs. New crop barley was $15 higher at $265 delivered into Downs destinations.

Barley prices in the export states surged higher early last week on reports that exporters may have sold Australian barley into Saudi Arabia.

Global wheat prices remain well supported by dry weather in the Black Sea. Drought has stalled winter wheat plantings in Russia and Ukraine and farmers are running out of time to seed crops before temperatures plummet ahead of winter.

Drought has also lowered the size of Argentina's 2020-21 wheat crop.

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