CANBERRA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia will import grain for the first time in over 10 years as the country recovers from the devastating 2018 drought.
The Australian government has approved a single shipment permit to import bulk wheat from Canada to mitigate the rising domestic prices for grain caused by the worst drought in decades on the east coast, according to the report of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday.
According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES), national winter crop production is forecast to be 20 percent below the 20 year average, coming in at 29.3 million tonnes for 2018-19.
However, grain production remained higher than that of previous droughts because winter crop production in Western Australia is expected to account for 56 percent of national production in 2018-19, compared with an average of 36 percent in the 20 years to 2017-18.
The shipment of wheat from Canada is expected to arrive in eight weeks and the government has dismissed concerns that the import could jeopardize Australia's volatile biosecurity.
In a statement issued on Tuesday night, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said that the imported grain would be "subject to strict conditions to manage any biosecurity risk."
Australia previously approved imports of whole grains in 1994-95, 2002-03 and 2006-07.