(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s wheat output is expected to expand next season as better weather improves planting conditions following a year of extremes that included heavy rains and stifling heat.

Wheat production is set to climb to 28.4 million tons in 2024-25, a 9% increase on the previous year, Emily Dahl, an economist from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, said during an interview in Canberra. Barley and canola output will also rise, she added.

“Winter crop production is forecast to increase and that’s mainly driven by an improvement in conditions across eastern states,” Dahl said. “Given good soil moisture levels, that bodes well for the season.”

Australia marginally raised its 2023-24 wheat output estimate to 26 million tons following the harvest of its main winter crop, but the quality was mixed after rain in the nation’s east damaged some grain, according a report released on Tuesday. Canola production also rose slightly.

The harvest started earlier and at a much faster pace than in recent years due to hot and dry finishing conditions across most states, including the nation’s top wheat producer Western Australia, the government said. Overall wheat output is still expected to be 36% lower than the previous bumper crop.

A larger proportion of wheat was classed as high protein grades compared with the three previous La Niña years, particularly in Western Australia and South Australia, the government said. However, wet harvest conditions led to quality downgrades in Victoria and parts of New South Wales.

Next Crop

Overall grains production in 2024-25 is expected to climb to 51 million tons, 9% above the 10-year average, Dahl said during a separate speech at a conference at the nation’s capital. That compares with 46.7 million tons in 2023-24.

Barley output in 2024-25 is expected to climb to 11.6 million tons, up from 10.8 million tons, and canola production is forecast to increase to 6.1 million tons, up from 5.7 million tons, according to Dahl. Planting of winter grains usually starts from April, with harvesting commencing from November.

The nominal gross value of crop production in 2024-25 is expected to rise 2% to A$49 billion ($32 billion) as more favorable climatic conditions boosts output of wheat, barley and canola, according to the report.

Despite increased production, export volumes of the three crops are expected to fall as domestic stocks are rebuilt and grain is used for animal feed, the government said. That’s expected to reduce the value of shipments by A$1.7 billion in 2024–25 to A$14.9 billion.

(Recasts top of story with 2024-25 winter crop estimates.)

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