Smallest Aussie Pulse Crop Since 2009

SYDNEY - Sep 11/18 - SNS -- Australian pulse production is expected to fall sharply for the second year in a row in the face of weak demand from India and unfavorable weather conditions which affected the willingness of farmers to plant crops in key production areas.

Total output is expected to sink from 3.04 to 1.97 million metric tons (MT). The last time output dropped under two million MT was in 2009, when 1.96 million MT were harvested. During the past five years, production has averaged 3.1 million MT.

The biggest change was reported for chickpeas. Total output will plunge from 1.15 million to just 351,000 MT. The only pulse showing an increase over last year are lupins, with output expected to climb from 631,000 to 689,000 MT.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) noted that timely rainfall in the state of Western Australia in late autumn and favorable winter rainfall increased soil moisture levels and yields are expected to be above average.

In South Australia, timely rainfall in most southern cropping regions in August boosted yield prospects but unfavorable seasonal conditions in northern cropping regions in June and July reduced yield prospects in these regions.

In Victoria, unfavorable seasonal conditions in the Mallee over winter reduced crop prospects but favorable winter conditions in the Wimmera and western districts generally boosted crop prospects.

Unfavorable seasonal conditions in most cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland curtailed planting late in the planting window and yields are expected to be generally well below average.

According to the latest three-month climate outlook (September to November 2018), issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 30 August 2018, rainfall exceeding median is unlikely in most cropping regions in Australia. Warmer than average temperatures in September are expected in Western Australia and some parts of Queensland. Temperatures in October are expected to be above average in most cropping regions in Australia.