The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES) says winter crops in the country face mixed prospects heading into spring. The group lowered its 2012-13 Australian winter crop production forecast to 36.2 million metric tons (MMT), down 20% from last year's record.
For the major winter crops:
- Wheat production is forecast to be around 22.5 MMT in 2012–13, around 24% lower than the record harvest of last year.
- Barley production is forecast to fall by 19% to around 7.0 MMT.
- Canola production is forecast to be around 2.8 MMT, a marginal decline of 2% from 2011–12.
ABARES Executive Director, Paul Morris, said winter crop production is forecast to be lower than the record harvest of last season. He says while wheat production is forecast to fall this season, the supply of Australian wheat available for export will remain high, reflecting the significantly high production of the past two seasons.
At the beginning of August 2012, stocks of wheat held by bulk handlers in Australia were around 11.5 MMT, around double the stocks at the same time in 2009. "In the key summer crop regions of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, above average winter rainfall has provided promising conditions for the forthcoming summer crop plantings," Morris said.