After three consecutive years of bumper harvests, Australia’s wheat production for the 2023–24 marketing year is projected to record a significant drop of 37% to reach 25.5 million tons. This decline represents a 4% decrease from the 10-year average, as shown in the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) December Crop Report.
Despite this initial outlook, changes are needed due to rain in early October in some of Australia’s key cereal-producing regions. As a result, ABARES has slightly adjusted the wheat production projection upward compared to the previous September report. Australia’s total winter crop production is forecast to decline by 33% to 46.1 million metric tons compared to last year’s record harvest, but remains below the 10-year average, according to ABARES.
Barley production, subject to the upward adjustment of its projections, is estimated to experience a significant decrease of 24% compared to last year, amounting to 10.8 million tons. This decline, although it has been the subject of a positive review, highlights the challenges facing the current harvest and reflects the dynamic variables affecting agricultural production in the region.
As for the canola harvest, it is expected to decrease by 33% compared to 2022–23. However, the planned production of 5.5 million tons remains above the 10-year average, driven by the planted area estimated to be the second highest on record so far.