Widespread rain across South Australia state in recent days has improved the
prospects for the 2008 winter cereal and oilseed crop, barley exporter ABB Grain
Ltd said. ABB Grain's managing director Michael Iwaniw said most regions in the
state had received enough rain to begin planting, to capitalise on strong world
"Now we are in a near-optimum sowing window, giving optimism for a large
production season as growers have indicated their intention to sow all available
acres this season," he said.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology was
forecasting at least average rainfall in South Australia for the next three
months, he added. World wheat and barley supplies were still at significantly
low levels, he said. ABB plans to expand into wheat exporting with de-regulation
of the Australian industry on July 1.
South Australia produces around 15
percent of Australia's national wheat crop and 30 percent of the national barley
crop. Australia is forecast to produce a record or near-record wheat crop of
26-27 million tonnes in 2008/09, although this has been thrown into doubt by dry
weather in the main eastern growing state of New South Wales, which missed out
on last weekend's rainfall. Last year, drought conditions limited the wheat crop
to just 13 million tonnes. The forecast barley crop for 2008/09 is about 9
million tonnes, up from 5.9 million tonnes last season.
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