Frost in Western Australia is worsening export prospects

Frost across much of Western Australia has dispelled the hope that wheat-growing areas in the western Australians could provide a much-needed boost in production. Australia, the world's fourth-largest wheat exporter, expects the country's total wheat production to fall to a 10-year low of 19.1 million tonnes.
Some analysts recently expected 12 or 13 million tons. With temperatures dropping further over the weekend, warning meteorologists about another cold weather this week, higher estimates could quickly be reversed. Many private analysts recently estimated wheat production in Western Australia at over 9.6 million tonnes.
The expectation of a weak harvest in Australia increases worries about a global deficit. That also led to the price hike to a three-year high last month. The smaller production volume in Western Australia could limit exports.
Australia usually exports more than 2/3 of its production. Due to the drought, however, domestic millers and ranchers are likely to dominate consumption.
Large customers of Australian wheat, such as Indonesia, will be forced to look for alternative markets for their needs. That should, above all, boost the export prospects of the United States and South America.
The unfavorable weather in the west and the severe drought along the east coast are a big burden on Australia's economy.

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