AUSTRALIA’S driest May on record has revived memories of the country’s recent droughts, which helped trigger global food shortages.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics has cut its estimate for this year’s wheat crop by 8.8%.
Crops in northern Western Australia, the largest wheat-growing state, were being stressed by the dry weather, and below-average rainfall was forecast to continue.
In the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures rallied this month, having sunk more than 40% between late February and the end of May, in anticipation of a strong rebound in global production to a record 656m tonnes this year. More production disappointments could force reassessment of the outlook. More wheat will be needed as animal feed, because maize and soyabeans prices have hit record levels due to wet weather.
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