ABARES issues late revisions to Australian crops

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resources Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has revised its numbers for the 2014-15 winter crop on the back of better than anticipated yields in WA and Victoria.

Image credit: flickr User: Todd Klassy
Image credit: flickr User: Todd Klassy

Senior commodities analyst at ABARES Peter Collins told Queensland Country Life that the total national winter crop production had been increased slightly from the December figure to 38.2 million tonnes, primarily due to the 6% increase in Western Australia and the 5pc upward revision in Victoria.

“What we found was that in Victoria, in spite of the well-publicised tough season in the Wimmera and Mallee, a lot of other areas had years better than expected, with frost damage not quite as severe as growers thought,” Mr Collins said.

With regards to the situation in WA, he said that the issues with hail and heavy rain at harvest did not impact the overall figure too much.

“It would have been a devastating event for those that copped it, but it did not have a big impact on the State as a whole.”

He said the big rainfall deficits down the east coast made for a below average crop in that area, which was partially offset by the good WA crop.

“It was a below average season from Queensland to Victoria, but there was a bigger than average crop in WA so it balanced out to an extent.”

According to the Bureau’s numbers, the crop was 13pc down compared to the 2013-14 harvest, which posted near record production in WA and South Australia.

Mr Collins said national wheat production fell 12pc to 23.6 million tonnes, while barley output dipped 18pc to 8 million tonnes and canola dropped 10pc to 3.4 million tonnes.

Despite the drop in production in wheat, barley and canola, Mr Collins described the season as reasonable.

“There were a lot of issues throughout the year, but the end result is not too far short of the average.”

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