Australian farmers will harvest more than 30 million tonnes of wheat this season after the country's chief commodity forecaster raised its production estimate on Tuesday by nearly 10% due to favourable rainfalls.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said wheat production during the 2020/21 season will total 31.17 million tonnes, up from a September estimate of 28.91 million tonnes and not far off the country's all-time high of just over 35 million tonnes in 2016/17.
"Favourable rainfall during September and October was perfectly timed for the growth cycle,” ABARES executive director Steve Hatfield-Dodds said in an emailed statement.
The bumper crops, already being harvested in many parts of the country, are likely to weigh on benchmark prices, which hit a six-year high last month.
Jump In Exports
A jump in exports of Australian wheat - which is usually in high demand because of its quality - will, however, help the economy recover from its first recession in 30 years after Canberra shut down large swathes of business to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Although ABARES also lifted its barley production estimate to 11.96 million tonnes, up from its September prediction of 11.2 million tonnes, barley growers face bleaker prospects.
China this year imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties of 80.5% on Australian barley imports, effectively halting a billion-dollar trade.