Cropping

ABARES lifts wheat, barley, canola estimates

Grain Central, September 6, 2022

A thriving crop of canola on the Lower Eyre Peninsula of South Australia. Photo: Justin Kudnig

AUSTRALIA is forecast to produce 32.2 million tonnes (Mt) of wheat, 12.3Mt of barley and 6.6Mt of canola from the upcoming winter-crop harvest, according to latest estimates from ABARES released in its quarterly Australian Crop Report released today.

These figures are up from its previous forecasts issued in June of 30.3Mt for wheat, 10.9Mt for barley and 5.6Mt for canola.

In commentary tied to the crop report and to ABARES September quarter Agricultural Commodities Report also out today, the national forecaster said exceptional growing conditions and high global prices were continuing to benefit Australian agricultural production and exports.

Total agricultural export earnings are forecast to climb to a record $70.3 billion for 2022-23 (Jly-Jun), almost 50 per cent above their level of 10 years ago after accounting for inflation, and exceed $70B for the first time.

ABARES executive director Dr Jared Greenville said industry’s overall forecasted gross value of $81.8B shows it is performing strongly, with cropping leading the way.

“Winter-crop prospects in Australia are looking very promising at the beginning of spring – we’re forecasting a 55.5Mt harvest,” Dr Greenville said.

“Meat production is also rebounding, with the national herd and flock returning to pre-drought levels.

“Favourable seasonal conditions are expected to persist, but global inflation and rising costs of farm inputs could cloud outlook for demand and farm incomes.”

Dr Greenville said ABARES’ latest forecasts factored in tapering global growth and the likelihood of a third straight La Niña for Australia, roughly a once-in-30-year event.

“Widespread inflation and a sluggish Chinese economy are the main watchpoints.

“Global food and fertiliser prices remain very high despite falling from peaks earlier in 2022.

“The World Bank expects high global food prices through to the end of 2024 which will have adverse implications for global food security.

“We’re seeing Australian agriculture leaning into this uncertainty, with continued global demand for our food and fibre, another bumper winter crop and the forecast of continued favourable growing conditions.

Harvest of Australia’s earliest 2022-23 wheat crops has started, and is forecast to produce the second-biggest wheat crop ever.

The national barley crop is expected to be the fourth-largest on record, with canola tipped to be the second-largest.

WHEAT 2021-22 2022-23 June 2022-23 Sep
Qld 1,825,000 1,726,000 1,746,000
NSW 12,765,000 9,855,000 10,188,000
Vic 4,172,000 3,813,000 4,371,000
Tas 85,000 81,100 87,200
SA 4,700,000 4,623,000 4,840,000
WA 12,800,000 10,250,000 11,000,000
Total 36,347,000 30,348,100 32,232,200

Table 1: Australian wheat production estimates in tonnes. Source: ABARES

WHEAT 2021-22 2022-23 June 2022-23 Sep
Qld 829,000 885,000 746,000
NSW 3,700,000 3,650,000 3,600,000
Vic 1,520,000 1,550,000 1,550,000
Tas 15,000 16,000 16,000
SA 2,075,000 2,150,000 2,200,000
WA 4,900,000 4,950,000 4,950,000
Total 13,039,000 13,201,000 13,062,000

Table 2: Australian wheat area in hectares. Source: ABARES

BARLEY 2021-22 2022-23 June 2022-23 Sep
Qld 391,000 319,000 346,000
NSW 3,015,000 2,296,000 2,460,000
Vic 2,694,000 2,094,000 2,559,000
Tas 56,000 31,800 55,000
SA 2,250,000 1,845,000 2,034,000
WA 5,500,000 4,300,000 4,800,000
Total 13,906,000 10,885,800 12,254,000

Table 3: Australian barley production estimates in tonnes. Source: ABARES

BARLEY 2021-22 2022-23 June 2022-23 Sep
Qld 147,000 133,000 133,000
NSW 900,000 820,000 820,000
Vic 910,000 790,000 850,000
Tas 10,000 7,200 10,000
SA 850,000 820,000 830,000
WA 1,600,000 1,550,000 1,550,000
Total 4,417,000 4,120,200 4,193,000

Table 4: Australian barley area estimates in hectares. Source: ABARES

CANOLA 2021-22 2022-23 June 2022-23 Sep
Qld 4,000 3,100 3,100
NSW 1,800,000 1,610,000 1,710,000
Vic 1,300,000 990,000 1,353,000
Tas 8,000 8,800 10,800
SA 500,000 395,000 464,000
WA 3,150,000 2,600,000 3,100,000
Total 6,762,000 5,606,900 6,640,900

Table 5: Australian canola production estimates in tonnes. Source: ABARES

CANOLA 2021-22 2022-23 June 2022-23 Sep
Qld 2,000 2,400 2,400
NSW 800,000 920,000 900,000
Vic 600,000 550,000 615,000
Tas 3,000 5,000 5,000
SA 260,000 255,000 290,000
WA 1,550,000 1,700,000 1,800,000
Total 3,215,000 3,432,400 3,612,400

Table 6: Australian canola area estimates in hectares. Source: ABARES

Winter-crop prospects in Australia at the beginning of spring are seen by ABARES as well above average following a generally favourable winter.

Timely and sufficient rainfall in late winter greatly benefitted crop development in many regions and lifted average yield potentials across all states.

Cropping regions in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria have benefitted more consistently from these winter developments than those in New South Wales and Queensland.

Ongoing wet conditions in large parts of southern Queensland and northern and central NSW prevented many growers from sowing or re-attempting to sow a late winter crop.

Crop establishment in some low-lying areas has been patchy, while a significant proportion of crops have been adversely affected by continuing waterlogging issues.

This contrasts with the more favourable crop conditions expected in most parts of central Queensland and southern NSW, which are helping to lift total state prospects.

On 2021-22 production, ABARES has lifted its estimate for canola by 260,000t in response to canola exports from eastern states pointing to a larger crop than previously thought.

NOTE: Totals in the tables which appear above vary from those initially published due to delayed availability of Tasmanian figures, and of Queensland’s canola figures.

Source: ABARES

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