Australian grain company AWB has revised down its wheat production estimate for this crop year to a range of between 20m and 22m metric tons, from a previous estimate of 22-24m tons.

The earlier forecast was based on expectations of normal seasonal conditions but AWB said “patchy” conditions in New South Wales had prompted a revised forecast, reported Dow Jones International News.

In the last crop year, which ended 31 March 2003, production was only 9.39m tons due to a harsh drought.