Australia’s wheat production will be lower than Australian government estimates, Gro’s model predicts. And while the harvest won’t match last year’s record, it will still be one of the largest in recent years.
Australia’s wheat production is critical to world supplies, which are at their tightest level in years. Australia is the largest producer in the Southern Hemisphere and is often the fourth-largest exporter of the grain. Over the past decade, wheat exports ranged between 9 million and 27 million tonnes, depending on the size of the crop.
ABARES, an Australian government agency, recently estimated that 2022/23 wheat production would come in at 32.3 million tonnes, an 11% decline from last year’s record crop but still historically high.
Gro’s Australia Wheat Yield Forecast Model is currently predicting production below ABARES’ projection. Wheat, Australia’s largest cereal crop, is grown largely in the states of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales and is harvested beginning in November. Gro’s machine-learning model relies on inputs including satellite-based readings of soil moisture, vegetative health, temperature, and precipitation. The model, which updates daily, provides forecasts for individual states and at the national level.
China has once again become a top buyer of Australian wheat following a trade dispute. In the first seven months of this year, China’s imports of Australian wheat jumped 150% from the same period a year earlier, as seen in this Gro Portal display. This comes at a time when China’s domestic wheat crop has been damaged by severe drought, as Gro wrote about here.
The other major wheat producer in the Southern Hemisphere is Argentina, whose crop is under pressure from elevated drought levels. This display, weighted for Argentine wheat growing areas using Gro’s Climate Risk Navigator for Agriculture, shows below normal vegetative health and low soil moisture, driven by below average precipitation and high temperatures.