Down Under Back Over: Australian 2020/21 Winter Crop Production Outlook

After three successive years of below-average production, we estimate Australia is on track to produce 47.4m tonnes of winter grains, oilseeds, and pulses this year. This 63% YOY increase not only represents a recovery, but also puts production back over average levels. A 22% YOY increase in planted hectares, together with well-timed and above-average rainfall in most regions, informs our expectations for 28.8m tonnes of wheat, 11m tonnes of barley, and 3.3m tonnes of canola to be harvested in Australia in 2020/21.

“After being the epicentre of devastatingly low grain production in recent years, NSW will be the driving force behind Australia’s recovery in 2020/21. We expect a year-on-year lift of 12m tonnes – a massive 366% – which puts the 2020/21 harvest within less than 1% of its record 2016/17 harvest”, according to Cheryl Kalisch Gordon – Senior Grains & Oilseeds Analyst.

Around 23% of this year’s national harvest will be barley. Despite declining price prospects for barley at the outset of the season, and in spite of an increasingly dour outlook in the wake of Chinese announcements on barley trade with Australia, planted area remained strong.

Notwithstanding the need to rebuild grain stocks following drought, Australia is on track to export 19.8m tonnes of wheat, 5.6m tonnes of barley, and 2.7m tonnes of canola this year.