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Tuesday 06th of January 2009
June 7, 2005

Australian crop figures revised


by Brian Turner
EIA predicts $50 barrel for next year

Global grain prices could feel the effect of a serious drought in parts of Australia.

The world’s second-biggest wheat exporter at about 15 percent of the global wheat trade, Australia has had to cut its crop forecast by 29 percent.

The reduction had been expected, but was greater than many thought it would be, and the ministry of agriculture has warned that even the revised figures could be too optimistic.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (Abare) had forecast a wheat crop totaling 20.4 million tonnes in March but now only expects a crop of 16 million tonnes. It has also cut its estimate of the total winter crop, of which wheat is the most important component, to 26.1 million tonnes, 17 percent less than last year.

New South Wales is expected to be hardest hit, with a crop of around 4 million tonnes, down 55 percent. Queensland production will also be down, by around 27 percent.

Growing conditions are good in Western Australia, however, and their winter crop is
expected to grow by 16 percent this year.

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