The Russian ban on wheat exports has not affected prices in Australia.
Six analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg News predict the country's wheat output may hit only 23.25 million metric tonnes in 2012-2013, a decline of 3.5 per cent versus the earlier 24.1 million tonnes forecast made by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. Australia's overall wheat production a year ago registered at 29.5 million tonnes.
"Colder and drier-than-ideal conditions in much of Western Australia and some parts of the east coast have really eroded the potential for the wheat crop," Graydon Chong, senior grains and oilseed analyst at Rabobank International, said in Bloomberg News. "The next two-to-four weeks will be crucial from a weather perspective."
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the southwest of Western Australia, the nation's biggest wheat producer, experienced its driest weather spell record in July, while it is forecast the state will start to experience wetter-than-normal conditions in September to November.
CBH Group, Western Australia's biggest grains handler, said on Wednesdy that overall grain production may be only between 9 million to 10 million tonnes in 2012-2013, versus a July forecast of 9 million to 11 million tonnes. Last year's harvest reached a record 15 million tonnes.
"We really lost 30 days of growth in July," Max Johnson, CBH Group grain operations manager, told Bloomberg News. "Crops are normally ripening in late August-September, we want those crops to now ripen in late September-October. If we get another three to four weeks of cool, damp weather it offsets that miserable July we had."
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