Australia: Grain handler expects massive profit hike on bumper harvest

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© istock
© istock

Related tags Poaceae Sorghum Harvest

Australian grain handler, GrainCorp, expects a profit surge arising out of the expected record crop harvest.

Its guidance for financial year (FY) 2017 forecasts its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITA) will be the range of AUS $385m to $425m compared to the $256m generated in FY 2016.

It sees profits jumping from $53m to between $130m to $160m.

GrainCorp managing director and CEO, Mark Palmquist, said positive earnings outlook reflected the record eastern Australian crop and continued solid performance from GrainCorp Malt.

The grain company held its annual general meeting on Friday (24 February).

Record harvest

Australia's total winter crop production is estimated to have jumped by 49% in 2016–17 to 58.9m tons, found the February Crop Report produced by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)​.  

“Australia’s winter crop harvest is almost complete and generally favorable seasonal conditions have pushed production to unprecedented levels, with all mainland states set to achieve record highs,”​ it concluded.

The winter crops are wheat, barley, chickpeas, canola, faba beans, field peas, lentils, lupins, oats, linseed, safflower and triticale.

The February estimate represented a 12% upward revision to the December 2016 Australian crop report forecast on the fact that yields were higher than anticipated, said ABARES.

Wheat production is projected to have risen by 45% to a record high of 35.1m tons.

Barley production is up by 56% to a record high of 13.4m tons, according to the report.

Canola production has also increased by 41% to equal the record high of 4.1m tons achieved in 2012–13.

Drop in sorghum

The ABARES team also gave its forecast for Australian summer crop production which includes cotton, sorghum and rice.

They said planting of summer crops is now largely complete and the total area planted to summer crops is estimated to have increased by 15% in 2016–17 to around 1.4m hectares.

However, the area planted to grain sorghum is forecast to fall by 35% in 2016–17 to 441,000 hectares, largely because of higher expected returns from growing cotton.

ABARES predicted yields of dryland summer crops would be constrained by hot and dry seasonal conditions during summer.

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