Australian Wheat Harvest Downgraded Slightly

Estimate is higher than USDA forecast.

Last Friday USDA's September Crop Report pegged Australia's wheat crop at 22 million tons, a drop of 3 million tons from their August estimate. On Tuesday the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics released its quarterly crop report that forecast the 2008 crop at 22.5 million tons, a slight downgrade from ABARE's June report.

Despite winter rainfall having been average or below average, the timing of rains has been opportune and crops in Australia are in a reasonable position heading into spring according to the report. The estimate for the wheat crop remains substantially higher than last year's production of 13 million tons due to the severe drought that Australia experienced in 2007.

Although the amount of rain received varied greatly throughout the Australian Wheat Belt, ABARE released a statement that there is great optimism for an improved winter grains crop this year.

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