Grainfield

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) released its June Crop Report last week. The June Crop Report is the first official estimate of how much area has gone into crop this autumn, and how much is expected to be produced.

The season has only just broken in large parts of Western Australia, and areas in SA and Western Victoria are still waiting, so any estimates made now can be subject to significant change.  Regardless, the June crop report gives a guide to how much is expected to be sown at least.

Figure 1 shows wheat plantings are expected to be similar to last year, which makes for five relatively steady years in a row.  Wheat production is expected to lift, with an average yield of 2.28t/ha, up from 2.04t last year. 

The biggest contributors to the increase in production are NSW and WA, both of which had weaker yields last year.  The dry start in Victoria has ABARES cutting yields, while yields are forecast to be steady in SA.

A 29mmt wheat crop would be historically very strong.  There have only been five years on record which have been higher. 

Barley plantings haven’t lifted as much as we might have expected, with the lifting of tariffs and better prices.  ABARES is forecasting a small increase in plantings and steady yields to achieve a 7% bump in production.  For barley, the forecast production of 11.5mmt would be the fifth highest on record.

The increases in wheat and barley area are expected to come from canola.  Canola plantings are forecast to decline by 14% on the west coast, and 9% nationally.  A small increase in yields from 1.58t/ha to 1.7t will somewhat offset the decrease in area.

National canola production is pegged at 5.38mmt, the lowest in four years, but still stronger than any year prior to 2021-22.  The late break in WA, SA and Victoria is partly responsible for the decline in plantings, but there is still plenty going in compared to historical standards.  Don’t be surprised to see a downgrade in canola plantings in the September report.

What does it mean?

If the crop report forecasts come to fruition, growers can expect prices to remain at a similar spread to international prices as in the season just gone. There is still plenty of time and potential for anything to happen, but the forecast is much more positive this year.

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Key Points

  • ABARES crop report estimates an increase in cereal production and lower canola in 2024-25.
  • The late break is impacting plantings in WA, SA, and Victoria.
  • Production forecasts are still expected to be strong, keeping a lid on price spreads.

Click on figure to expand

Click on figure to expand

Click on figure to expand

Data sources: ABARES, Mecardo

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