Feed grain update: global uncertainty driving volatility

Luke Walker, Robinson Grains, 23/08/2011

Luke Walker, Robinson GrainsMarkets have seen more volatility in the past week with grain markets caught up in global uncertainty and fundamentals not necessarily the reasons for market movements. 

We have seen a portion of domestic consumers trying to get more grain purchased before the upcoming harvest to reduce their exposure to drought and reduced supplies in northern areas of the grain belt.

Other consumers in contrast are only buying hand to mouth and watching the 10 day forecast with anticipation of rain and the possibility of feed markets weakening.

On Friday NAB downgraded its output forecast for new crop production to 21.8 million metric tonnes, citing the impact of dry weather on crops in northern New South Wales and Queensland as the reason. The bank's forecast is down 12pc from its April projection of 24.75 million tonnes and 17pc lower than a June estimate of 26.2 million tonnes by ABARES.

I’m not sure if I agree with this reduction as crops in WA and SA are expecting a bumper year and Victoria to Gilgandra in Central NSW should get reasonable yields.

The size of the annual harvest is critical to determining the quantity of wheat available for export. Australia is usually one of the world's five major exporters, with annual domestic consumption of around 6 million tonnes, of which about 2.5 million tonnes is used annually for stock feed.

The delivered Downs sorghum market this week is likely to trade around $227/t, and $248/t for delivered Brisbane in August. Sorghum is still struggling to find demand while lotfeeders prefer wheat in their rations, however, sorghum values seem supported due to the lack of keen grower selling and demand from exporters accumulating for vessels.

The Liverpool plains area has been relatively quite on the sorghum front as growers wait for some decent moisture. Feed wheat or SFW1 delivered downs would trade around $255/t, Liverpool Plains $232/t, and Goulburn Valley at $212/t for August.

Cottonseed delivered Downs is largely unchanged from last week at $250-255/mt. Barley delivered downs traded for August at $248 with new crop barley in the mid $250s for the November December slot.

Northern NSW Growers are reluctant new crop sellers of barley at this stage and are watching the weather forecasts with great interest. Southern Riverina barley has been reported trading at $190 delivered August.

  • Prices quoted in this column are of an indicative nature only to illustrate trends and do not represent a definitive buy or sell price at a given point in time. For specific prices for your region contact the author at luke@robinsongrain.com.au or (07) 4659 0755 or twitter @lukergtgrain


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