Grain production outlook 'below trend'

The West Australian

Grain regions in WA have a roughly equal chance of a wetter, or drier-than-normal three months, says the Bureau of Meteorology.

In the eastern States, graingrowers should expect a wetter-than-normal three months, boosting their wheat-production prospects ahead of harvesting.

The chance of exceeding median rainfall for August to October is more than 80 per cent in southern NSW, most of Victoria and south-east South Australia, the Bureau claims.

Wheat output across Australia is set to gain 15 per cent to 25.4 million metric tons in 2013-2014, the government estimates.

According to a Bloomberg report this morning, wheat tumbled 16 per cent in Chicago this year as the US Department of Agriculture forecast world production to climb 6.5 per cent to a record 697.8 million tons in 2013-2014 on bigger harvests in Russia and the European Union.

"It's positive for production on the east coast," said ANZ agricultural economist Paul Deane. "In Western Australia, the risk there is increasingly for average at best yields, or even below trend."

Last month the Australia Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said WA looked set to overtake NSW as the country's biggest grain producer.

The United States remains the world's biggest exporter, followed by the EU and Australia.

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