Bumper wheat crop in Australia
Australian wheat output appears to have reached record levels this year, which has reduced global prices that had been driven up by unfavorable weather and the conflict in Ukraine and caught the attention of Chinese and other Asian customers.
The 2022–23 marketing year for Australian wheat is expected to see an all-time high of 366 lakh tonnes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Growing areas have received heavy rain following a smooth planting season. The USDA’s outlook was not altered despite worries that prolonged periods of heavy rain throughout harvest season would affect quality.
In several countries, last year’s skyrocketing inflation was fueled by high wheat prices, raising concerns about a global food crisis. Market pressures are now lessening.
One-fourth of the world’s wheat imports go from Australia to Asia and China. The region is top wheat consumer that receives the majority of the wheat produced in Australia.
According to Chinese customs data, China bought 78.7 lakh tonnes of wheat from January to October for the stocking up and domestic consumption in 2023. Over 49 lakh tonnes, or approximately 60 percent of the total, came from Australia, which shows an increase of 19 lakh tonnes or roughly 20 percent more than that of last year.
The Japan’s Norinchukin Research Institute’s expert Ruan Wei said,” The quality of Australian wheat combines well with China’s need for wheat to create noodles. Another consideration is cost. According to data from Chinese customs, Australian wheat cost in China was an estimated $370 per tonne in October. This is less expensive than the $440 or so spent on wheat imported from the United States, where concerns over adverse weather conditions decreasing output have kept prices high. This is why Australian wheat exports are becoming more competitive on the market for both food and animal feed.”
Sources said, “Currently, global wheat prices are coming down because of the additional supply from Australia. This trend has attracted several countries to Australian wheat and seeing this, it is expected that wheat exports from Australia will increase in the coming months.”