Australia's winter crop expected to increase after drought-ravaged 2018 season

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-12 09:47:38|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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CANBERRA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Australia's winter agriculture production is expected to bounce back after a drought-ravaged 2018 according to a government report.

In its first crop report of 2019, which was published on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) tipped that the winter crop for 2019 would be 36.4 million tonnes, a 20 percent increase from 2018.

Severe drought on Australia's east coast resulted in the lowest national crop in 10 years.

After above-average rainfall in May in Victoria, South Australia and southern New South Wales (NSW), the crop is expected to bounce back.

However, the 2019 winter crop -- which consists of wheat, barley, canola and pulses, is still expected to be 10 percent lower than the 10-year average.

Wheat production is expected to increase 23 percent to 21.2 million tonnes and barley by 11 percent to 9.2 million tonnes, the report said.

Peter Collins, a senior ABARES economist, said that the 2018 season was brutal for the eastern states, with the national production only salvaged by Western Australia's second-largest recorded crop.

"A lot of last year's crop was damaged and cut for hay in areas such as Victoria, South Australia, and southern New Southern Wales, so you need to put that increase into perspective," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

In NSW, 100 percent of which was declared to be in a state of drought in 2018, Collins said the outlook was mixed.

"There are still significant parts of the eastern states that will struggle to come up to an average crop... the further north you go [in NSW] prospects are less than robust," he said.

Western Australia was expected to receive only average winter rainfall in 2019 following a bumper 2018.