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Aussie farmers escalate production as wheat prices soar

March 16, 2022

Aussie farmers escalate production as wheat prices soar

Australian farmers are tipped to fill shortfalls in wheat supply triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which pushed prices to 14-year highs last week.

Australian farmers are tipped to fill shortfalls in wheat supply triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which pushed prices to 14-year highs last week.

The gross value of Australia’s wheat production for the 2022 financial year is now expected to hit a record $12.3 billion, with exports forecast to grow 26% from last financial year to $10.3 billion – also a record.

This huge wheat windfall is being driven both by the higher prices created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – two countries that account for 25% of the global annual wheat trade – and a bumper domestic harvest across the entire agricultural sector.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES, part of the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment) shows Australian farmers are on track to produce a record $81 billion in crops for the financial year.

ABARES expects prices will ease back next year and the value of production will dip 6% to $76 billion – still the second-highest on record.

“An expected return to more average seasonal conditions in 2022-23 will mean lower crop production,” ABARES said in its 2022 March quarter Agricultural Overview.

“International prices are also expected to retreat from very high levels as overseas production increases, and the volatility and disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic begins to abate. 

“Agricultural prices could remain higher for longer in the event of continued disruptions and a slower global recovery, which would add around $2.3 billion to gross value in 2022-23.”

While these elevated prices are beneficial to Australian producers, some farmers are now contending with the ethical implications of reaping these rewards, telling ABC News they feel ‘conflicted’ that their higher profits are the result of war.

“This is another person’s misery, and it’s a terrible thing in human terms,” NSW grain grower Matthew Dart told the program.

Sources


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