Australia's wheat production is expected to decrease significantly, according to the country's agricultural department. Production of winter crops, including wheat, is expected to fall by more than 30% from previous record highs.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's June crop report shows that Australia's total winter crop production for the 2023-24 season is estimated to fall by 34% to 44.9 million tonnes. This is about 3% below the 10-year average up to 2022-23, which was 46.4 million tonnes. In particular, the report highlights a significant decline in wheat and barley production, with falls of 34% and 30% respectively. Wheat production is forecast to fall to 26.2 million tonnes and barley production to 9.9 million tonnes. These figures are below the 10-year average for both crops.
Australian wheat exports are forecast to fall to 23 million tonnes in the 2023/24 season, down 7 million tonnes from the record export programme of 30 million tonnes the previous year. Despite the decline, this export volume would still be the fifth largest on record.
A Singapore-based trader told Reuters that while Asian millers have enjoyed ample supplies from Australia over the past three years, they may need to seek alternative sources for the coming year. It was suggested that supplies from Europe, the Black Sea region and to some extent the United States could potentially replace Australian wheat.
Australia is currently the world's second largest wheat exporter, supplying major markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The country's geographical proximity to Asia has been an advantage in meeting the continent's growing food demand. However, the expected decline in wheat production is raising concerns about the availability of Australian wheat to these markets next year.