| ||AWB lifts 2003/04 crop forecast || ||
AWB Limited today announced it is expecting the 2003/04 national wheat harvest to be approximately 25 million tonnes, making it a record Australian crop.
AWB Managing Director Andrew Lindberg said with harvest now all but complete, total production was set to eclipse the previous forecast range of 22 – 24 million tonnes, largely as a result of record wheat production in Western Australia.
Mr Lindberg said receivals into the 2003/04 AWB National Pool were expected to be about 19 million tonnes.
“While the vast majority of wheat is now in the system, we are still expecting some late deliveries to the National Pool from the trade and from grain stored on-farm,” Mr Lindberg said.
“A 2003/04 crop of about 25 million tonnes represents an outstanding rebound from the previous drought affected harvest of 9.7 million tonnes,” Mr Lindberg said.
Not all regions of the wheatbelt enjoyed a good season, with lingering drought limiting planting opportunities and crop yields in parts of north-west NSW and central Queensland. Wheat crops in South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales were also impacted by hot dry conditions in early spring, which did reduce some of the yields in those areas.
“The 2003/04 national crop was really bolstered by the record wheat harvest from Western Australia,” Mr Lindberg said.
“AWB’s sales and marketing program for the new crop is now in full swing, and we are well progressed having posted some strong recent sales,” Mr Lindberg said.