More good news for Australia’s wheat farmers as they watch their fields and wonder if dry weather in some states will once again cut production for the second year in a row.
The harvest reached around 9.9 million tonnes last year because of the drought and is now on track for a crop of just over 22 million tonnes, if there’s solid spring rains in growing areas, especially Western Australia.
World wheat prices have been booming in recent months but the rise in the Australian dollar since January has cut those gains.
But last week AWB said the 2007-2008 wheat pool price had been raised by $30 a tonne, thanks to the easing in the dollar and the still strong prices.
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Last night world wheat prices rose even higher on the most important commodities grain market in the world, the Chicago Board of Trade, after Canada chopped its forecast for this year’s harvest to 20.32 million tonnes, a fall of almost 20% on last year’s harvest.
Wheat hit a high of $US7.54 a bushel, a record, and settled $US7.39, up 7.25c on the day. Wheat prices in Chicago have more than doubled over the past year.
Besides Canada, the International Grains Council trimmed its forecast for this year’s global wheat harvest to 607 million tonnes from a previous estimate of 614 million tonnes.
The Canadian crop has been damaged by dry weather in July in western growing areas. Canada is the second-biggest exporter of wheat behind the US.
Production in the European Union is forecast to fall 38% by May 31 next year, according to forecasts from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Drought and then heavy rain has hurt crops in France, the biggest grower in the EU, Germany and the Britain.
The USDA said worldwide wheat stocks could fall to 114.8 million tonnes by next May, the lowest in 26 years.