CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australian grain production is expected to be strong in the 2021-22 marketing year following a record-breaking wheat production year and two years of drought, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The expected rainfall forecast for July to September is anticipated to boost Australia’s wheat yields.

The USDA estimates Australia’s wheat production to total 29.5 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year about 22% higher that the previous 10-year average. Consumption of the commodity is anticipated to fall 500,000 tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes as improved rainfall has led to a decrease in on-farm supplementary feed demand.

Australian wheat exports are forecast to slip 1.5 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year to 21.5 million tonnes compared to the prior year near-record exports. The USDA maintains its wheat import estimate of 200,000 tonnes for mostly wheat products and pasta.

Due to an anticipated second year of strong production the USDA expects Australia’s wheat ending stocks in the 2021-22 marketing year to increase 2 million tonnes, to 6.6 million tonnes.

Despite projected future rainfall, Australia’s barely production estimated to slip 2.6 million tonnes, to 10.5 million tonnes due a decrease in planted area from 4.4 million hectares to 4.2 million hectares. The USDA attributes the planting reduction to China imposing an 80.5% duty on imports from May 18, 2020, for a period of five years.

Prior to the duty, China accounted for two thirds of Australia’s barley exports and the USDA anticipates Australian barley exports to face increased competition in the Middle Eastern markets. Barley exports are forecast to decline three million tonnes to five million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year.

Barley ending stocks are anticipated to remain low at 1.7 million tonnes for the 2021-22 marketing year.

Consumption of the commodity for the 2021-22 marketing year remains in line with the 2020-21 marketing estimate of 5.5 million tonnes as similar to wheat increased rainfall improved pasture production and reduced the need for on-farm feed grain.

Australia’s sorghum producing regions have experienced good autumn and early winter rainfalls increasing soil moisture and boosting the USDA’s production estimate to 1.6 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year.

Unlike barley and wheat, sorghum consumption is expected to increase due to a rise in feed use. The USDA anticipates Australian barley consumption to jump 300,000 tonnes to 610,000 tonnes compared to the previous year. The increase in production and supply is expected to decrease sorghum prices compared to wheat and barley.

The USDA’s sorghum export forecast for the 2021-22 marketing year remains unchanged at 800,000 tonnes and stocks are expected to remain stable at 1.1 million tonnes after being replenished in the previous marketing year following the drought.