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|
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|
|vs ABARES Sep||508,000||204,000||239,000||338,000||488,000|
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