ABARES lifts estimates for major pulse crops

Grain Central December 1, 2020

Lentils are coming into sites across south-eastern Australia including this ETG Processing facility at Minyip in the Victorian Wimmera. Photo: Wimpak

ABARES has forecast production of Australia’s five major pulse crops at 2.87 million tonnes (Mt), up 11 per cent from its previous forecast released in September of 2.58Mt, and 9pc above the standing estimate of 2.63Mt from industry body Pulse Australia.

ABARES’ latest figures are out today in its Australian crop report, December 2020 (table 1), and include a hefty 24pc increase in its estimate for the lentil crop now being harvested and forecast to produce 616,000 tonnes, up from 497,000t seen in the September report.

The forecast for faba bean production has also risen sharply, up 23pc to 516,000t.

Behind the rise is an upward revision in the estimate of area planted for both crops, and a largely ideal finish to the growing season for major producing areas in south-eastern Australia.

The kind spring has improved the outlook for Victoria’s lentil yield enormously, with the state average now seen at 1.6t per hectare, up from 1.2t/ha seen in the September report, and a national average of 1.7t/ha, up from 1.5t/ha seen earlier.

While ABARES does not forecast faba bean area by state, the beneficial end to the season in Victoria, and most of NSW and South Australia, has lifted the average national yield for the crop to 1.9t/ha from 1.7t/ha seen in September.

December estimates from ABARES on chickpeas and field peas have risen slightly, up 4pc for chickpeas to 737,000t,  and up 3pc for field peas to 287,000t.

This is despite a slight drop in area estimates for both crops.

On chickpeas, production estimates for the New South Wales and South Australian crops have been lifted, but are unchanged for other states, while upward revisions on field peas for NSW and Victoria have pumped up the national number.

Australia’s 2020-21 pulse harvest is well under way, with the chickpea harvest all but finished in major growing areas, and progress on faba beans, field peas, lentils and lupins well advanced.

State tonnes Chickpeas Field peas Faba beans Lentils Lupins
Qld 275,000 0 nq 0 0
NSW 378,000 61,000 nq 10,000 130,000
Vic 68,000 66,000 nq 288,000 44,000
SA 11,000 115,000 nq 300,000 50,000
WA 5,000 45,000 nq 18,000 490,000
National 737,000 287,000 516,000 616,000 714,000
Change +4pc +3pc +23pc +24pc +5pc
ABARES Sep 708,000 278,000 418,000 497,000 680,000
PA Aug 773,000 378,000 479,000 358,000 638,000

Table 1: ABARES Dec 2020 estimated tonnage for major pulses by state, and ABARES previous estimates released in September, as well as Pulse Australia’s estimates issued in August.

State hectares Chickpeas Field peas Faba beans Lentils Lupins
Qld 230,000 0 nq 0 0
NSW 210,000 34,000 nq 7,000 68,000
Vic 45,000 47,000 nq 180,000 38,000
SA 8,000 85,000 nq 170,000 40,000
WA 5,000 35,000 nq 11,000 350,000
National 498,000 201,000 269,000 368,000 496,000
vs ABARES Sep 508,000 204,000 239,000 338,000 488,000
Change -2pc -1pc +13pc +9pc +2pc
PA Aug 452,000 241,000 233,000 250,000 499,000

Table 2: Area projections by state, major pulses, September 2020, and ABARES previous national estimates released in September, as well as Pulse Australia’s estimates issued in August. Source: ABARES




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