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Barley, canola, wheat estimates lift over quarter: ABARES

Grain Central, December 5, 2023

Harvesting a cereal crop in Victoria’s Wimmera district last week. Photo: Matt Rohde

AUSTRALIA is forecast to produce 25.5 million tonnes (Mt) of wheat, 11.1Mt of barley and 5.5Mt of canola, according to estimates released by ABARES today in its December 2023 Australian Crop Report.

Compared with estimates released in the September report for the crop now being harvested, the wheat figure is up 0.27 percent, while barley is up 6.1pc, and canola is up 7.2pc.

ABARES now forecasts Australia’s total winter-crop production at 46.1Mt, slightly below the 10-year average, up from 45.2Mt seen in September, but 33pc below the record 2022-23 crop.

The lift from September reflects improved prospects in southern cropping regions, which are expected to more than offset reduced production in parts of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

Mixed conditions

ABARES said seasonal conditions across Australian winter-cropping regions have been mixed throughout the 2023-24 growing season.

After below-average rainfall in September, early October rainfall boosted prospects for cropping regions in southern NSW, Victoria and parts of South Australia, and better-than-expected rainfall and improved soil-moisture levels benefitted crops in these regions.

By contrast, seasonal conditions were largely unfavourable at the start of the season in Queensland and northern NSW, and deteriorated further as the season progressed.

Seasonal conditions in WA worsened over spring and have reduced yield potential, particularly in northern cropping regions.

Hot and dry finishing conditions in Queensland, northern NSW, SA and WA have seen the national winter-crop harvest start earlier than normal, and progress at a much faster pace than in recent years.

Lower yields, improved labour availability, and increased harvester capacity from investment in machinery are also contributing to the faster pace of this year’s harvest.

Much of eastern Australia recorded significant rainfall late last month, and this has delayed harvest across central and southern NSW, Vic and parts of SA.

Rainfall outlook neutral

According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook out to February issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on November 23, there is no strong tendency towards above or below-median rainfall across most cropping regions.

December rainfall totals are expected to be below 25mm for most southern cropping regions.

This should allow for timely completion of the national winter-crop harvest and minimise the potential grain-quality downgrades typically associated with a wet harvest.

However, if higher-than-expected rainfall totals were to continue this month, it will likely cause further quality downgrades in unharvested crops.

WHEAT TNS 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 2,222,000 2,305,000 1,400,000 1,100,000
NSW 12,029,000 10,260,000 6,600,000 6,600,000
Vic 4,246,000 5,393,000 4,100,000 4,619,000
SA 4,750,000 7,350,000 4,700,000 4,900,000
WA 12,919,000 13,800,000 8,500,000 8,150,000
Tas 70,000 82,500 85,000 85,000*
Total 36,236,000 39,190,500 25,385,000 25,454,000

Table 1: Australian wheat production estimates in tonnes and by state. * To be confirmed. Source: ABARES

WHEAT HA 2021-22 2022-23  2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 941,000 980,000 900,000 800,000
NSW 3,608,000 3,600,000 3,300,000 3,300,000
Vic 1,445,000 1,500,000 1,540,000 1,540,000
SA 2,008,000 2,200,000 2,200,000 2,200,000
WA 4,718,000 4,750,000 4,650,000 4,650,000
Tas 9,300 15,000 12,000 12,000*
Total 12,729,300 13,045,000 12,602,000 12,610,000

Table 2: Australian wheat area in hectares and by state. * To be confirmed. Source: ABARES

BARLEY TNS 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 617,000 403,000 310,000 280,000
NSW 3,562,000 2,278,000 1,680,000 1,745,000
Vic 2,271,000 2,896,000 2,250,000 2,953,000
SA 2,146,000 2,900,000 2,000,000 2,100,000
WA 5,758,000 5,600,000 4,200,000 4,000,000
Tas 24,000 60,500 50,000 50,000*
Total 14,378,000 14,137,500 10,490,000 11,128,000

Table 3: Australian barley production estimates in tonnes and by state. * To be confirmed. Source: ABARES

BARLEY HA 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 207,000 136,000 150,000 150,000
NSW 1,159,000 780,000 800,000 800,000
Vic 870,000 820,000 830,000 830,000
SA 970,000 830,000 850,000 800,000
WA 1,884,000 1,550,000 1,600,000 1,600,000
Tas 4,300 11,000 7,000 7,000*
Total 5,094,300 4,127,000 4,237,000 4,187,000

Table 4: Australian barley area in hectares and by state. * To be confirmed. Source: ABARES

CANOLA TNS 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 4,700 10,000 4,000 4,000*
NSW 2,114,000 1,800,000 1,095,000 1,305,000
Vic 1,303,000 1,383,000 1,075,000 1,202,000
SA 435,000 770,000 475,000 510,000
WA 2,954,000 4,300,000 2,500,000 2,500,000
Tas 9,800 10,000 2,000 2,000*
Total 6,820,500 8,273,000 5,151,000 5,523,000

Table 5: Australian canola production estimates in tonnes and by state. * To be confirmed. Source: ABARES

CANOLA HA 2021-22 2022-23  2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 2,200 4,700 3,000 3,000*
NSW 941,000 900,000 840,000 840,000
Vic 569,000 600,000 550,000 550,000
SA 222,000 290,000 285,000 290,000
WA 1,513,000 2,100,000 1,800,000 1,800,000
Tas 3,600 5,000 3,000 3,000*
Total 3,250,800 3,899,700 3,481,000 3,486,000

Table 6: Australian canola area in hectares and by state. * To be confirmed. Source: ABARES

Source: ABARES

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