Rabobank has reported that, despite variable crop conditions, the 2011 total winter wheat crop is set to be Australia’s third-largest on record and predicts that Australian cotton production will reach a record of 4.73 million bales in 2012.
Dean Smith, senior analyst and author of Rabobank’s Australian Crop Quarterly report, says that the bank estimates the 2011 total wheat crop to weigh in at 25.6 million tonnes.
Mr Smith explains that whilst spring brought globally falling prices for wheat, canola and barley, it also brought favourable weather for producers; leading to excellent growing conditions across Australia, helping to consolidate or improve yields.
The report shows that Australian wheat exports are highly likely to exceed 18.3 million tonnes for the 2010/11 crop season, with exports already reaching 17.1 million tonnes by August 2011. Over the next six months China is likely to become one of the top export markets for Australian wheat.
For the east coast its winter crop experienced quite a rollercoaster of a season with a wet summer, dry July and average August, followed by much needed September rains. Overall the coast should offer average to good yields, with some lowering in protein levels.
South Australia had a solid seaon, with crop yields expected to be strong, likely falling just shy of the record breaking levels experienced last year.
Western Australia has made a fantastic comeback from low levels of both optimism and sub-soil moisture at the beginning of the year. Rabobank now forecasts double last year’s results with a crop yield of 8.8 million tonnes.
Mr Smith says that “Western Australia… is set for one of the biggest production years on record due to timely rain during planting and follow-up rain in the spring,” Of the bigger international picture, Mr Smith advises to watch out for Chinese involvement in international grain markets.
He explains “China has traditionally held a very large strategic grain reserve however, with domestic demand exceeding supply in recent years, stocks are very low meaning it is reasonable to suggest that China’s demand for feed grains should provide some real support for grain prices,”