Australian farmers hold back wheat sales, may miss the boat
With Australian wheat unable to compete at present, millers were switching to Russian grain, which would continue until new-crop Australian supplies come into the market, Campbell said.
Flour millers in Indonesia, Asia's biggest wheat buyer and Australia's top customer, have already bought around 325,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in recent deals for shipment in August and September, well above normal levels.
"The Black Sea region has ample supply this year," said a Singapore-based trader who sells Australian and U.S. wheat into Asia. "We see stiff competition right from August when Black Sea crops enter the market and continuing through the end of the year when the Australian harvest starts."
The big unknown is El Nino, despite a strong start to the Australian growing season.
Most areas, including top exporting Western Australia state, have had ample soil moisture and benign temperatures to aid crop development, although Queensland and northern parts of New South Wales have remained dry.
"For the country as a whole, I think it is fair to say the best start in at least 10 years," the Sydney-based trader said.
Australia currently expects a crop of about 24.6 million tonnes, which would be the sixth biggest on record, but has warned that dry conditions are affecting yields and output could fall further if an El Nino forms.
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