South Australia can look forward to average yields at best as some of the state’s traditionally safe rainfall areas struggle to get crops up and away after a patchy start to the winter-cropping season.
China has been the anchor in a massive export year for Australian barley, taking a whopping 3.4 million tonnes (Mt) of the total 5.7Mt of barley shipped from October 2016 to April, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) export data.
The benefits of widespread rainfall throughout Europe in May are being eroded by hot and dry weather across many parts of the continent in the first two weeks of June, jeopardising production, particularly in western European countries, where above average temperatures are forecast to continue for at least the next 10 days.
Over the past month, Australia has seen both current and new crop wheat and barley markets strengthen dramatically, especially compared to harvest prices.
Grain markets are as nervous as a Queensland Maroons supporter when big Andrew Fifita gets the ball in State of Origin.
The first official Australian estimate of the 2017 winter crop is likely to further strengthen domestic grain prices, in line with a steady to stronger outlook for world values now that weather and stocks news has been digested.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) has raised the forecast for global wheat supplies for 2017/18 by 2.8 million tonnes (Mt) to 261.2Mt, since its last report a month ago.
The total planted area for Australia’s 2017/18 winter crop is expected to remain on par with last year at just over 22 million hectares, according to Rabobank’s just-released Australian Winter Crop Update.
Global supply conditions have pulled the wire tight and, combined with a patchy start to the planting of Australia’s 2017 winter crop, has lifted old-crop wheat and barley prices by A$10-20/t over May.
Depending in which part of the country you reside, the winter-crop planting/seeding/sowing season is well under way. However, the moisture profile is certainly quite variable, and rainfall totals across the continent for the first two months of the southern April-November wet season have largely disappointed.