Favourable weather combined with a 1% increase in winter crop seeded acreage has led to Australia's ABARES to boost the winter crop grain production estimates by 7% for 2016/17 to 42.3 million metric tons. 2016/17 plantings saw a shift from wheat and barley acres to increased plantings of oats, canola and pulse crops.
The Australia government has forecast acres seeded to wheat to fall by 1% from 2015, while production of wheat is estimated at 25.384 million metric tons, up 4.9% from last year and the highest volume produced since 2011/12. This volume is just slightly higher than the 25 mmt estimate released by USDA last week, and will weigh further on a well-supplied global market.
The canola crop is one of the beneficiaries of the shift away from cereals, with overall acres expected to increase by 4% to roughly 6.2 million acres, an area that remains 10.6% below the five-year average. Canola production is estimated to increase by 10% to 3.239 mmt, but still 9% below the five-year average.
Australia's chickpea acres are estimated to increase 8% to nearly 1.8 million acres, after producing a record crop of 1 million metric tons in 2015/16 after producers doubled their planted acres from the previous year and achieved good yields. Production is estimated to increase by 8% to 1.1 mmt.
Dry pea acres in the country are estimated to increase for the second straight year to 598,000 acres, while production is estimated to jump by 46% to 300,000 metric tons, a three-year high and equal to the five-year average.
Lentil areas are also set to rise to 625,163 acres, while production is estimated to rise by 30% to 330,000 mt.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a wetter-than-average winter season for most of Australia's crop-producing areas in the June-through-August period. At the same time, temperatures are forecast to be average to below average over the same period.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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