Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
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Australian Wheat Crop At Risk From Rain -Analyst
Australia's bumper wheat crop, harvest of which is gathering momentum, could be at risk from too much rain, a commodity analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said Monday.

If a significant part of the new crop is damaged by rain and downgraded to feed status, this would put added pressure on an already wide global price spread between hard and soft wheat, the analyst, Tobin Gorey, said.

The Reserve Bank of Australia acknowledged the beneficial impact of recent rains and reported that output from the wheat crop will be a little above average, amid a generally brighter outlook for the farm sector.

Gorey was commenting after plentiful rains through eastern and southern Australia in the past two months.

The government's Bureau of Meteorology forecasts more heavy rains in coming days in southeast Australia.

Many wheat growing areas in South Australia state received an unseasonably heavy 25-49 millimeters of rain in the 24 hours to early Monday, according to data from the bureau. This rain halted the harvest in the state and has started to stain wheat grains, said Peter Weaver, storage and handling manager at ABB Grain Ltd. (ABB.AU), the state's dominant grain logistics concern.

"We're hoping that the rain will stop from here on, so we don't get any weather damage," Weaver said in a report on Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s Country Hour program.

There hasn't been any problems yet with grain being downgraded, he added.

Gorey said too much rain late in the growing season can lead to deteriorating crop quality, such as mature grain sprouting in heads before harvest, which can lead to a downgrading to feed status.

"If things go wrong, it's going to be because of too much rain, not too little at this stage" particularly in eastern Australia, he said in a brief interview.

By and large, winter crops including wheat have received enough rain to take them through to a big harvest, which is usually completed by year-end, he said.

"It probably won't go far off a record crop this year, if things go right from here," he said.

Gorey projected wheat output to be 23 million to 25 million metric tons, in line with that of bulk wheat exporter AWB Ltd. (AWB.AU).

Meanwhile, the central bank acknowledged the positive impact of recent rains and noted recent forecasts that the wheat crop will be a little above a five year annual average of 21.5 million tons.

"The earlier downside risks to the outlook, owing to late planting and dry conditions, have diminished with recent rains in many growing areas," which improved the outlook for grain production and exports, the RBA said in a quarterly statement on monetary policy.

After annual domestic demand for wheat of about 5.5 million tons is met, the remainder of output is available for export, making Australia a major global supplier.
MGR Archive 8.11.2005
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