Australian Wheat Output May Expand as La Nina Boosts Crop

Wheat production in Australia, the fourth-largest shipper, may expand as crops benefit from rainfall in the country’s west and the development of the La Nina weather pattern,  reported “Kazakh-Zerno” IA with reference to the “Bloomberg“.
Production from the next harvest may climb as high as 24.5 million metric tons, from a current forecast of 23.1 million, if there’s favorable weather for the rest of the season, Dan Basse, president of the Chicago-based agricultural researcher, told a conference in Melbourne, Australia today. 
Wheat prices on the Chicago Board of Trade may range between lows of $5.25 to $5.50 a bushel and highs of $6.25 to $6.50 for the remainder of the year, assuming there are no significant problems with crops in Australia and Argentina, Basse said. The contract for September delivery traded at $5.835 a bushel at 11:20 a.m. in Singapore. 
“We are quite optimistic with the recent rains in Western Australia that this wheat crop could be rather special,” Basse said in an interview. Exports from the nation could be 15.5 million to 16 million tons, he said. The USDA forecast 2009-2010 exports at 14.5 million tons. 
Output for the 2009-2010 season was 22.5 million tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Research Economics estimated the harvest at 21.7 million tons. 
Australia’s eastern states may benefit from the development of La Nina, Basse said. The weather pattern, which typically brings more rainfall to the region, was “highly likely” to be in its early stages, the Bureau of Meteorology said on its website last week. 
“With La Nina building, there is a strong correlation between large Australian wheat crops and good rainfall, at least during the months of August and September,” Basse said. 
La Nina 
La Nina is a cooling of the equatorial Pacific Ocean that occurs on average every three to five years and lasts nine to 12 months, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 
National Australia Bank Ltd. today forecast Australia’s wheat crop at 22.3 million tons because of favorable soil moisture conditions in the country’s east. 
The biggest wheat shippers in the 2009-2010 year were the U.S., Canada, Russia, Australia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. 
Wheat production from former Soviet Union countries had declined to 92 million tons, about 9 million tons lower than current USDA estimates, Basse said. Exports from the region may be 27 million tons, he said. 
“There still may be opportunities for some strength in the wheat market going forward,” he said. 

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