Australia lifted its estimates of domestic winter crop and sorghum harvests, after Western Australian wheat and barley yields topped expectations, and rains improved soils in the eastern state of Queensland.
The official Abares commodities bureau raised its estimate for the country’s newly-finished harvest of winter grains, such as wheat, barley and canola, by 1.20m tonnes to 38.23m tonnes.
The upgrade left production still 5.85m tonnes short of last season, but promoted the result from its previous status as a five-year low.
The upgrade reflected in the main an upgrade of more than 500,000 tonnes to the estimate for barley production, thanks to higher sowings and yield figures, although the wheat harvest was revised upward too, by 385,000 tonnes to 23.22m tonnes.
The canola harvest was pegged at 3.41m tonnes, up 90,000 tonnes on the previous estimate, published in December.
By geography, most of the upgrades related to Western Australia, Australia’s top grain-producing state, where yields turned out better than expected, even if “wetter-than-average conditions during November and December slowed the pace of the harvest in southern regions”.
“Excessive moisture during harvest resulted in some downgrading of wheat in southern regions,” Abares added, with rainfall on ripe grains encouraging sprouting, although “for the state as a whole, wheat quality is generally good”.
For barley too, “some downgrading has occurred, largely because of high screenings and low protein,” meaning that a “below-average proportion of the barley crop achieved malting grade”.
Abares lifted its expectations for Australia’s summer crops too, by 460,000 tonnes to 3.65m tonnes, thanks to improved hopes for the sorghum harvest.
Late rain has lifted sorghum sowings to 604,000 hectares – some 72,000 hectares higher than previous expectations, and up 23% year on year.
“Above-average rainfall in December and January made it possible for further area to be planted,” the bureau said.
Australian sorghum production will hit 1.79m tonnes – an upgrade of 450,000 tonnes, and an increase of 62% year on year.
‘Excellent growing conditions’
The revision tallies with market talk of an improved sorghum crop, with Queensland-based broker Pentag Nidera saying that “on average growing conditions continue to be excellent across most growing regions.
“The national sorghum crop production forecast continues to climb.”
However, thanks to strong Chinese demand, values are “holding” the broker said, with the grain achieving Aus$294 a tonne in the ports of Brisbane and Newcastle.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/australia-lifts-barley-wheat-sorghum-crop-forecasts)