Australia Crops Latest

Grain production in Western Australia, the nation's most productive state and the one responsible for most of the country's wheat exports. will fall from 13.6 MMT in 2008 to 10-12 MMT this year, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Food.

“A late start and below-average rainfall through the April-June period has contributed to lower-than-normal crop potential through much of the central and north-eastern wheat belt,” they say.

Western Australia (which normally accounts for around 40% of national output) could see wheat output of 5.6-7.7 MMT from the 8.9 MMT produced last year, according to the region's monopoly grain storage facility Cooperative Bulk Handling.

The country is bracing itself for further possible cuts in production if the expected El Nino weather event materialises. The Climate Prediction Centre recently warned that the development of El Nino was 'likely' this year.

The last two El Nino years were 2002/03 and 2006/07 when national wheat production was slashed to 10.1 MMT and 10.8 MMT respectively.

The Bureau of Meteorology is set to release it's latest review of El Nino potential on Wednesday.