CANBERRA (Dow Jones) — Australia’s wheat output could top 29 million metric tons, higher even than an official record estimate of 28.3 million tons, this crop year, Steve Burt, managing director of trading and exporting concern PentAG Nidera Pty. Ltd., said Tuesday.
Burt’s estimate highlights the abundant supplies of wheat available after what looks to be two successive record crops in Australia, usually one of the top five suppliers to the global trade.
The wheat crop in the year that ends March 31″will be in the vicinity of 29 million tons,” adding to the already massive amount of wheat available from Australia, he told Dow Jones Newswires by telephone. “There’s very few stories where yields have disappointed.”
When combined with the carryover of old-crop inventories of more than 8.0 million tons into the new marketing year that began Oct. 1, the Australian industry has a big export task ahead of it, he said.
“It is a very big crop on top of a big crop [in 2010-11], and we need to be very competitive to access non-traditional markets for Australia wheat to achieve Abares’s 21.6 million-ton export estimate,” which the official government forecaster issued on Dec. 6 for this marketing year, he said.
The rainfall at harvest isn’t nearly as bad as last year’s, he said.
Burt estimated about three quarters of the national wheat crop has been harvested and stored, and about 3.0 million tons might have been downgraded to livestock feed from the usual milling grades for human consumption, he said.
“It isn’t as bad as last year, but it is on top of last year so it’s adding to a bad situation” in terms of plentiful supplies both within Australia and overseas, putting downward pressure on domestic and global prices, he said.
Source: Dow Jones
Posted by Haylie Shipp