Feed grain update: Rainless days, sleepless nights

Luke Walker, Robinson Grain Trading, Toowoomba, 11/09/2014
Luke Walker, Robinson Grain Trading, Toowoomba

Luke Walker, Robinson Grain Trading, Toowoomba

Commodity markets are currently keeping grain buyers and farmers awake at night with the ever present concerns of  lack of rain in some parts of the East Coast crop belt.

The impact of the frost in recent weeks on crop quality have also beef discussed at great length.

The global grain market needs to be considered also with big crops being harvested around the world, and Australian grain prices well above export parity.

There is plenty to digest to develop a strategy on buying new crop grains in Australia with a 31.5 million tonne wheat and barley crop to harvest in the coming months.

ABARE has released its latest numbers on wheat this week, with total production reduced by 0.2mmt to 24.2 mmt for all States. Queensland wheat production is at 1.1mmt and holding, but only just I would suggest.  NSW production is at 7mmt and holding with reports of frost in the southern part of the state responsible for some damage to yields. Victoria is at 3.1mmt while the South Australian crop has increased by 200,000mt to 4.5mmt. However, our new grain buyer in SA suggested he doesn’t agree with the increase, due to damage caused by the dry August. Western Australia is looking like producing a bumper season and ABARE forecast an 8.4mmt crop.

Sorghum planting is almost underway but could really be benefited by at least 20mm of rain.  The sorghum market is holding up well with prices trading for March 2015 at $270 delivered Downs. There has been renewed Chinese demand for Sorghum in boxes in recent weeks, although with their upcoming harvest in October it remains to be seen whether or not there will be continuing demand from China for our sorghum.

Australian cotton crop production for 2015 is expected to be down a staggering 50 per cent on last year’s production of 4 million bales. The continuing drought in the northern cotton growing regions is largely to blame for the overall reduction.  New crop cotton seed prediction of 500,000 tonnes will mostly be all consumed domestically, while gin spread new crop seed delivered downs was quoted at $400 landed.

Local markets for feed wheat delivered Downs are trading in the $320’s for September and new crop (November December) at $312. F1 Barley is a thin market in the north with new crop trading $290 landed Downs. Liverpool Plains wheat also thin with old crop $295 and new crop $290. Barley delivered on the Plains around $270 although again buyers are still watching and waiting for harvest. Riverina F1 barley trading $235 and wheat $255 for new crop with no reports of old crop trading. More activity in the Goulburn Valley with the trade while consumers are again sitting aside wheat trading $270 landed and barley $240.

  • 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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