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Australian Summer Crops Boosted by Recent Rains
ABARE, February 17, 2004
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) says recent heavy rains in northern New South Wales and Queensland came just in time to rejuvenate most crops suffering since late December from hot dry weather. The agency pegs the 2003/04 Australian summer crops at 3.8 MMT, up 32% from last year.

Dr Brian Fisher, ABARE’s Executive Director, said today when releasing the February issue of the Australian Crop Report, that rains have also led to some late plantings of sorghum and sunflower, particularly in central Queensland.

With the winter harvest now complete, ABARE has revised upward its production estimate for the 2003-04 Australian winter crop, to a record 39.4 million tonnes, up 22.4 million tonnes or 131 per cent from last season’s drought affected crop.

"After a dry start to the season, mild 2003 winter conditions and good rainfall at critical times across much of the southern grain belt prolonged the growing season and boosted winter crop yields, although grain quality was a problem in some regions," said Fisher.

"Record crops were harvested in Western Australia (15.6 million tonnes) and Victoria (6.2 million tonnes), while South Australia recorded its third largest harvest. Winter crop production was also better in New South Wales and Queensland, although below average rains, hot winds and isolated pockets of frost and disease in spring contributed to poor yields, particularly in northern New South Wales and the central highlands of Queensland," he added.

ABARE says late-season rainfall and hail at the end of 2003 also disrupted the grain harvest in the southern cropping regions and some quality downgrading of grain occurred.

"Australian wheat production in the 2003-04 season is now estimated at a record 24.9 million tonnes, 148 per cent up on last year’s harvest. Barley production was up 130 per cent to a record 8.5 million tonnes.
MGR Archive 17.2.2004
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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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