Australia’s wheat harvest has been revised down amid ongoing drought, although it is expected to recover from the lows caused by dry weather last year.
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Canberra bureau has estimated the wheat crop will come in at 21.5 million tonnes, down from the USDA’s official forecast of 22.5mt.
However, this will still be 4mt up on last year.
The bureau said: “Although higher acreage and ample moisture in some areas is expected to boost production from last year, continuing drought conditions in other key wheat growing regions could constrain production growth.”
However, prospects are expected to be ‘largely determined by spring rainfall totals’.
Expanded areas for both wheat and barley, as well as improved moisture in some parts of the country were behind the forecast, but drought conditions remained an issue for a substantial part of the growing area.
On the back of increased production, exports were expected to be up from 9.1mt last year to 12.5mt in 2019-20.
“Despite the larger crop, high prices and expected robust global wheat production could limit export increases,” the bureau said.