Report Highlights:

Australian wheat production for 2013/14 is forecast to increase by 17 per cent to around 26.2 MMT. Australian barley production for 2013/14 is forecast to increase by approximately 15 per cent to 8.6 MMT. Australian sorghum production is forecast to decrease by approximately 20 per cent to 1.6 MMT in 2013/14. Australian rice production for 2013/14 has been reduced slightly to 907 TMT.

Executive Summary:

Excellent growing conditions and beneficial rains in Western and South Australia producing areas are expected to result in significant production increases for Australian wheat in 2013/14, and will more than outweigh lower expected production in drought-affected areas of Queensland and New South Wales. Increased production prospects for coarse grains are expected as well in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, where abundant rainfall and beneficial growing conditions are expected to lead to the third largest barley crop on record.

Delayed planting and unfavorable seasonal conditions have resulted in lower sorghum plantings and are expected to lead to lower yields. As a result grain sorghum production is forecast to decline by 20 percent to 1.6 MMT in 2013/14. Continued lack of winter rainfall across rice production areas has led to irrigation shortages and lower rice plantings due to higher water prices. As a result rice production is forecast to fall to 907 TMT in 2013/14.

WINTER CROPS

Wheat

Australian wheat production for 2013/14 is forecast to increase by 17 per cent to around 26.2 MMT. Production in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria are forecast to increase in 2013/14 due to favorable conditions and above-average rainfall, especially in the central and southern regions of Western Australia. In contrast, production in New South Wales and Queensland is forecast to decline as hot and dry seasonal conditions in these two states during Spring (September to November) followed unfavorable seasonal winter growing conditions (June to August). Late frosts in October last year also adversely affected crops in central and southern New South Wales. Yields in both Queensland and New South Wales are expected to be lower compared the 2012/13 season, while average yields in Victoria are forecast to rise slightly. When combined with an estimated increase in planted area for 2013/14 of 2 per cent, total production in Victoria is expected to be up by 3 per cent.

Australian wheat exports for 2013/14 (July-June) are forecast to decline by 13 per cent to around 18.6 MMT. Although Australian wheat production is forecast up from 2012/13 the supply for export in 2013/14 is expected to decline because of lower carry-over stocks from the previous season.

Barley

Australian barley production for 2013/14 is forecast to increase by approximately 15 per cent to 8.6 MMT. If this target is reached this would be the third largest Australian barley crop on record. Contributing factors include very favorable growing conditions in Western Australia that have led to a forecast increase in barley production in the State of 25 percent, while excellent seasonal conditions in South Australia and Victoria have led to a forecast increase in production of 28 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. These production increases should more than offset expected declines in barley production in New South Wales and Queensland which are based on poor yields resulting from drought and late spring frosts.

Excellent production prospects for Australian barley, especially in the states of Western and South Australia where production tends to be exported, are expected to result in a 15 per cent rise in total Australian barley exports, to just over 5 MMT.

SUMMER CROPS

Sorghum

Dry weather conditions and an expected decline in area planted is expected to lead to a drop in Australian sorghum production by approximately 20 per cent to 1.6 MMT in 2013/14. Drought-related planting delays resulted in a 7 per cent decline in sorghum planted area, to approximately 552,000 hectares. Lower yields are also expected in 2013/14 relative to last year due to unfavorable seasonal conditions and planting delays.

Poor seasonal conditions and lower yields are expected to lead to a dramatic 33 percent decline in Australian sorghum exports for 2013/14, to 863 TMT. This is in stark contrast to strong forecast export gains in barley, leading to a slight increase in overall Australian coarse grain exports in 2013/14.

Rice

Continued lack of winter rainfall across rice production areas have led to persistent water shortages in irrigation areas. Lack of rainfall and higher temperatures are likely to reduce plantings further. As a result estimated rice production for 2013/14 has been reduced to 907 TMT. Domestic consumption is expected to remain stable in 2013/14 and therefore exports are forecast to decline slightly from previous forecasts to 500 TMT