Australia may be forced to import wheat due to the downturn in its domestic wheat production caused by the current drought.

In normal circumstances Australia exports up to 85% of its wheat harvest, but with wheat production estimated to be down 50% for 2002 due to ongoing drought affecting the country, Australia may have to import wheat to make up for the losses.

Meteorologists have warned that the drought could last until at least January 2003, reported the Canberra Times.