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Australian Ag Minister Predicts Poor Wheat Crop

The new wheat crop could be as small as last year's.

Peter McGauran, the Australian agriculture minister, says the new wheat crop may produce around ten million tons about the same as 2006's harvest that was hit by drought. It's a big drop from the 25 million tons produced in 2005 and is far and away the most conservative estimate seen so far this year. Last week the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics pegged the national crop at 15.5 million tons.

If McGauran is correct, that means another year of extremely tight world wheat stocks. He made statement while being questioned about the possibility of issuing more bulk wheat export permits. He says that right now the size of the crop, not who will get to export it is the bigger concern, and until the true size of the crop is known, he has no plans to issue additional permits.

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