RPT-Australia raises wheat forecast by 11% after wet Autumn
(Repeats story published early on Tuesday, no change to text)
By Colin Packham
CANBERRA, June 8 (Reuters) - Australia on Tuesday raised its wheat production forecast during the 2021/22 season by 11.2% from a forecast three months ago after rains across several major growing regions improved the prospects for yields.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said it now expects production during the season ending June 30, 2022 to total 27.8 million tonnes. The bureau's previous forecast in March had been 25 million tonnes.
"Yield prospects in most cropping regions in New South Wales, Western Australia and much of Queensland are very favourable given the favourable conditions at the beginning of the winter crop season and the outlook for winter rainfall," said Jared Greenville, acting executive director of ABARES.
While the rains across Australia's east coast has aided grain production, it has also led to a so-called mouse plague that has destroyed some acreage.
ABARES, however, said recent cold weather will relieve the plight on farmers.
Early indicators are that mouse numbers have peaked in most regions as cold and wet winter conditions slow breeding rates," said Greenville.
A bumper Australian wheat harvest is likely to ease supply concerns among key importers in Asia and the Middle East.
Benchmark Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures in April rallied to their highest since 2013, and are up around 30% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, ABARES also lifted its forecast for barley and canola production.
Barley production is now expected to total 10.4 million tonnes - up from its March estimate of 8.8 million tonnes.
Australian growers are expected to harvest 4.2 million tonnes of canola, up from the 3.5 million tonnes forecast in March. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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