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ABARES lowers forecast of Australia's 2017-18 wheat output to 20.3 mil mt

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ABARES lowers forecast of Australia's 2017-18 wheat output to 20.3 mil mt

Singapore — Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences has revised lower its forecast of the country's wheat production in 2017-2018 (October-September) to 20.27 million mt in its supply and demand report released late Tuesday.

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The latest forecast is down 1.3 million mt from its last estimate in September.

The revision puts this year's crop lower by 42%, or 14.74 million mt year on year, with the decrease attributed to unfavorable weather conditions from severe deficiency of rainfall registered in some of the key growing areas in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia during spring.

The biggest production cut is forecast for New South Wales, down 58% on the year to 4.785 million mt. The planted area is also marginally downgraded, by 2% to 3.3 million ha.

ABARES expects output in Victoria to decrease by 32% to 3.55 million mt and production in South Australia to fall by 45% to 3.65 million mt.

Western Australia was least affected, with output expected to fall 25% to 7.52 million mt.

In addition, recent reported above-average rainfall in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are very likely to affect the quality of the harvest.

Typically, excessive rainfall during the harvest season results in lower protein and falling number levels, together with chances of sprouted grains, if the rains last.

Barley production is also projected to be affected by unfavorable weather, falling 40% from the last marketing year to 8 million mt nationwide.

--Andrei Agapi,
--Edited by Irene Tang,