Significantly lower grain production is on the cards in Western Australia for the 2019-2020 season, with Rabobank Australia predicting a fall of over one third.
Significantly lower grain production is on the cards in Western Australia for the 2019-2020 season, with Rabobank Australia predicting a fall of more than a third on the previous season's figures.
The agribusiness bank said Western Australia, which was last year’s “star player” in the national grain industry, was set to produce just 11.9 million tonnes of grain.
This is down 33 per cent on last year.
Last month, the Grain Industry Association of WA also said a weak harvest was likely, after it provided a guidance of 12.3mt.
Rabobank senior grains analyst Cheryl Gordon said only a year after playing the role of Australia’s bread basket, WA was set to have a poor period.
“After starting the season on limited soil moisture, the WA crop got a good but late start and then kept up with just-in-time rainfall, only to be pulled back by a widespread and severe frost in early September, in between unseasonably high temperatures and low rainfall,” Ms Gordon said.
“The biggest percentage decline will be in the state’s canola crop, which we expect to be just 0.8 million tonnes – only 50 per cent of WA’s five-year average.
“Increased barley plantings this year, however, will mean WA’s barley supply will remain close to the five-year average for the state.”
Despite the significantly reduced WA crop, the state will continue to export to the east, supplying wheat and barley to the NSW and Queensland markets over the coming year, the report says.
This is largely due to the ongoing severe drought in the east of Australia, which Rabobank said would create a national winter crop of 27.7mt, the smallest since 2007-08.