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95 percent Australian wheat planted after rain
SYDNEY , Planting of Australia's national wheat crop was 95 percent complete after receiving a late kick from some reasonable rains, national exporter AWB Ltd said on Friday.
Many areas of the Australian grains belt had been planted later than usual because of patchy weather, and some farmers might have switched to other crops or dropped acres out of their sowing intentions, a spokesman said.
But almost all of the wheat plantings which would take place for 2003/04 would now be complete, after national delays caused by dry June conditions, AWB told Reuters.
This left AWB's forecast of national wheat production at 20-22 million tonnes, in line with most other forecasts which clustered around the 21 million tonne mark.
Grain crops were generally in good condition in Australia's southern and western states, although New South Wales (NSW) had had a patchy, scattered start to its season, AWB said.
Some areas of the state, one of Australia's biggest grains districts, had still missed out on rain, AWB said.
This left NSW lagging behind other parts of the country as well as behind planting levels in a good year, the spokesman said.
The President of the NSW Farmers Association, Mal Peters, estimated this week that only 66 percent of the state's wheat crop was in the ground.
Solid but unspectacular Australian grain crop prospects for 2003/04 are leaving domestic markets somewhat direction-less after rain caused significant falls in new crop prices in early July.
MGR Archive 21.7.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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