Output 45 % yoy $1,245m est
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Continued record global production and increased carryout stocks

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Vietnam the largest export market valued at $112 million with 23% export market share

Yield and total production were both below average

After the previous year’s record breaking crop, 2017–18 was a difficult season from sowing through to harvest. Rainfall in winter and spring was below (to very below) average and combined with detrimental frosts, adversely affected crop development in most regions. As a result, yield and total production were both below average. Export prices were significantly lower due to another year of record global production1.

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NSW’s key role in global perennial wheat quest

NSW DPI has contributed to a global network of experiments to develop perennial cereal crops, with some of the most successful perennial wheat lines grown at Cowra. Perennial cereal crops offer the potential to help boost sustainability and increase flexibility for farmers by offering grain and grazing options and better manage climate variability. In marginal cropping areas, particularly in drought years, perennial wheat may allow farmers to vary their inputs, reduce costs and deliver environmental benefits.

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DBA Bindaroi durum wheat shines in 2017

A NSW DPI wheat variety released for commercial production in 2017, DBA Bindaroi, has delivered superior yields, high quality and very low incidences of disease despite tough seasonal conditions last year. DBA Bindaroi has performed very well in trials, yielding 5% better than Caparoi in a multi-year analysis.

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New wheat crops are tops for NSW

NSW DPI released two new durum wheat varieties that will improve the productivity and quality of NSW durum crops, in a partnership with the GRDC to benefit NSW grain growers. DBA Bindaroi is suited for dryland cropping in northern NSW while DBA Vittaroi is better adapted for irrigated country. The new varieties will increase grain yields by 4-5%, while achieving 13% grain protein with improved semolina colour, key traits beneficial to growers and export markets.

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The area planted was down 5% year-on-year and down 12% on the 10-year moving average.

Yields were lower by more than half, down 52% compared with last year’s record levels, to an estimated 1.45 tonnes per hectare. This was the lowest average yield since 2009–102.


Production 5 year average 2013-18
Production 10 year average 2008-18
Source: ABARES (2018a)


Exports declined in value by 59% year-on-year as a result of significantly lower domestic production54.

Vietnam took the largest market share at 23%, while India disappeared as a customer after having taken the largest share last year because of prolonged drought conditions on the sub-continent54.

Asia comprised 74% of our export market with Southeast Asia being 53%, up 12 percentage points year-on-year.

The Black Sea (Russia and Ukraine) became a major competitor in our key export market region of Southeast Asia. Increased production, significantly lower prices and all time low bulk freight rates enabled them to compete. Russian exports reached 41.4 million tonnes in 2017–18, making them the highest wheat exporter of any country in 20 years6, 21, 99.

2017-18 Global Export Market Share %

  • United States
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • European Union
  • Russia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Ukraine
  • Other
Source: USDA (2018e)
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Macroeconomic Conditions and Price

Global production reached a record 758 million tonnes, up 0.8% year-on-year. Consumption increased slightly (0.6%) to 739 million tonnes. Closing stocks were up 6.7% to 274 million tonnes, equivalent to 36% of global production96, 85.

The US Hard Red Winter wheat futures price increased by 16% to $229 per tonne.

On an Australian domestic basis, there was a more pronounced increase of 20% to $279 per tonne. Domestic prices firmed despite record high global stocks, which is attributed to decreased new-season production and continuing dry conditions2, 84, 93.

Global Supply and Demand

Global Wheat Production
Global Wheat Consumption
Global ending stocks
Source: USDA (2018a)