The lack of rain in Australia is projected to continue impacting overall grains production, especially wheat, barley and sorghum. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), wheat, barley and sorghum crop forecasts are to rise only slightly above last year’s production due to dry conditions still outweighing major output levels.
Australian wheat production for 2019/20 is forecast at 18 million tonnes, up 702,000 tonnes (+4%) compared to the previous year, although anticipated 27% below the five-year average. Although crop conditions were relatively positive over the winter period, very low soil moisture and below average precipitation for September is bringing much concern about the overall grain output.
The dry September weather has also negatively impacted Australian barley production, with some farmers cutting barley planted area for hay because of the more competitive prices. Therefore, Australia’s barley production is forecast to rise only 290,000 tonnes in 2019/20. Australia’s sorghum production for this marketing year is also anticipated slightly higher than 2018/19, about 122,000 tonnes more.
Meanwhile, intense frost and snow in the Northwest and North Central regions of the US have contributed to the wheat price increase on concerns over total volume and quality. Mintec prices for US wheat are up 7% m-o-m in October.