CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Following a two-year drought, Australia’s oilseed sector is slowly improving and output is bouncing back, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Australia’s canola production in the 2021-22 marketing year is forecast to decline 100,000 tonnes, to 3.9 million tonnes, from a strong post-drought production of 4 million tonnes in the previous marketing year. Yields are anticipated to return to more typical levels from the record yields of the 2021-22 marketing year, this is expected to be offset by expanded canola planted area, the USDA said.

Australia’s canola planted area is expected to jump 15% in the 2021-22 marketing year to 2.7 million hectares. Continued attractive canola prices and soil moisture are linked to the recent increase in canola planted area. The two-year in eastern Australia broke in early 2020 and has experienced favorable rainfall since.

“The soil moisture will give farmers confidence to shift area from winter grains to higher-risk canola,” the USDA said.

The country’s canola exports in the 2021-22 marketing year are projected to be 2.9 million tonnes. Although canola production is expected to decline by 100,000 tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year, domestic crush is also anticipated to decline by the same volume.