Feed grain update: Sorghum harvest enters final stages

Luke Walker, Robinson Grain Trading, Toowoomba, 21/05/2015
Luke Walker

Luke Walker, Robinson Grain Trading, Toowoomba.

Grain markets have been plodding along over the past month with most of the attention in the north on Sorghum.

The harvest is dragging out with high moisture and rain in the last few weeks causing delays.

The harvest is heading towards its final stages with about 65% now completed in Central Queensland, 75% in Southern Queensland and about 90% in the Liverpool Plains.

The bulk of our sorghum is destined for export, with about 900,000 m/t to be shipped to China in bulk vessels and containers. About 65pc of their demand is expected to be used to make alcohol in the form of Sorghum wine called Baijiu.

The majority of sales will be exported by the end of July. We are currently about $20 away from doing new sales with the higher Australian Dollar.

US sorghum has also been selling into China in recent weeks with their harvest due to start in late July/August, with reports of significant tonnes going in from that source. China’s own sorghum harvest will also start in July.

Old crop wheat has been gaining some upside momentum in recent week since an El Niño pattern was confirmed. Growers are tending to sit on stocks until new crop planting rains are secured and the new crop is up and out of the ground. Delivered Downs wheat has increased by $15 in recent weeks to $326 for May delivery. Barley has also been difficult to source with prices $324 for May delivery to the Downs.

Chickpeas are worth having a quick look at with demand for Australian Chickpeas into India in October and November. India had a poor harvest in March. Prices for October/November shipment are at all time record prices with delivered downs packers at $830 m/t with a rise of $190 just in the past month. Chickpeas acre could have a 30% increase in area sown with wheat and barley dropped out of the planting program from Central NSW and Queensland. Definitely worth keeping and eye on this market with potentially more volatility ahead. India plant their Chickpeas in October but will need monsoon rains to secure planting they normally grow 8- 9 million tonnes. Pulse Australia have forecasted 750 – 800k mt crop for Australian crop, but I think it will be more like 900,000mt grown this year.

Market wrap up: Delivered Downs wheat for May $325/t; barley $320; Sorghum $298; and Cotton Seed delivered Downs $442. New crop January 2016 delivery for Downs wheat $314 and Barley $300. Liverpool Plains wheat $295 and Barley $285 landed for May. Riverina area market is dead wheat $265 also for May. Goulbourn Valley Victoria also a lack of activity for May has a flat market, wheat for May $275 and Barley $280.

  • 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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