A key industry forecaster is likely to cut its outlook for Western Australian wheat production this year to as low as 4 million metric tons, half of last year’s output, commodity analysis and information provider Profarmer Australia said.
If the revised prediction by Australian Crop Forecasters eventuates, Western Australian output in the crop year ending March 31 would be the lowest level since 2003, when 4.05 million tons were produced during a savage drought.
Australian Crop Forecasters analysts are currently completing a crop tour of the state, normally Australia’s largest wheat producer, and expect to lower their output forecast to between 4 million and 4.5 million metric tons due to ongoing dry weather, Profarmer said in a weekly report.
Estimates for the state’s output of other grains will also be reduced, but some of the impact of these downgrades on national production will be offset by increased east coast production estimates, it said.
Profarmer Australia and Australian Crop Forecasters are units of New Zealand stock exchange operator NZX Ltd. (NZX.NZ).
The official Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics earlier this month upgraded its national wheat output forecast for this year to 25.1 million tons from 22.1 million tons, compared with output last year of 21.7 million tons.
Abare’s latest forecast was predicated on Western Australia producing 6.1 million tons of wheat, but due to ongoing dry weather after one of the driest winters on record in the state’s wheat belt, it is almost certain to downgrade the figure in its next crop report in December.
The state’s Grain Industry Association last week held its wheat forecast for this year steady at 5.5 million tons.
Dow Jones Newswires