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Australian wheat harvest bigger than was thought

images (4) Australia’s wheat harvest last year broke the record far more easily than had been thought, lifted by 28% by "the benefits of improved seasonal conditions and increased rainfall".

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has pegged the 2010-11 domestic harvest at 27.9m tonnes, well ahead of existing forecasts, besides the previous record of 26.1m tonnes.

Australia’s commodities bureau, Abares, pegs last year’s crop at 26.3m tonnes, with the US Department of Agriculture estimating the harvest at 26.0m tonnes.

"All states had increases except Western Australia, which due to very dry conditions fell by 38% to 5.0m tonnes," ABS said.

"New South Wales doubled its previous year’s production, up to 10.7m tonnes."

Record inventories

The bureau is seen in the markets as a reliable source, and indeed its data are quoted by the USDA, the world’s foremost agricultural authority.

And the harvest upgrade tallies with a higher-than-expected inventory figure for the close of 2010-11, at the end of September, that ABS has already revealed, Nick Higgins at Rabobank said.

The bureau last month estimated Australia’s carryover wheat stocks at a record 8.25m tonnes, even after a jump to 24.9m tonnes in use – most of it, 18.6m tonnes, in exports.

The previous record wheat harvest, of 26.1m tonnes, was set in 2003-04.


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