The U.S. ag attache in Australia says despite near ideal planting conditions for the 2012-13 crop, area planted to wheat and barley is expected to decline relative to last year as growers shift production into canola in response to better prices.
The attache currently estimates the country's 2012-13 wheat production at 27.0 million metric tons (MMT), down about 6.5% from its 2011-12 estimate, which was increased to a record 28.9 MMT. The estimate for 2011-12 wheat exports was also increased, to a record 20.5 MMT.
The attache says barley production for 2012-13 is forecast at 8.0 MMT, down on the estimate of 8.5 MMT for 2011-12, with exports forecast at 3.75 MMT, slightly below the revised estimate of 4.0 MMT for 2011-12.
Leading up to the 2012-13 winter cereal (wheat and barley) cropping season, Australia has experienced widespread rainfall, and in the case of key eastern Australian cropping areas, record flooding. "Consequently, growers in eastern Australia are expecting a full profile of moisture at the time of planting for the 2012-13 winter cereal crop," it says.