Australia Wheat Crop Estimate May Still Be Too High

One of the country's top wheat growers predicts a 6 to 8 million ton harvest.

Australia's reduced wheat production forecast, down to 10 million metric tons compared to last year's actual output of 25 million tons, spurred trading in wheat and other grains in the U.S. 10 million seems like a small harvest for the drought-stricken country, but one of Australia's biggest wheat growers thinks it's still a high estimate.

Ron Greentree, who served 11 years as director of GrainCorp Ltd and farms in New South Wales, thinks the estimate of 10 million tons is "overstated by 20% to 30%." Rather, Greentree expects a harvest of only million tons.

"People haven't accepted how bad it is," he says. He is meeting with legislators to lobby for liberalized wheat export arrangements. If Greentree's estimate is accurate, Australia will face sharply reduced export availability with production as much as 75% lower than last year.

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