Nathan Michael, Agfarm Account Manager SNSW
Yesterday (Thursday) in Wagga Wagga, we recorded a temperature of 35 degrees during the day and even at 8:00 pm it was still hovering between 25 and 30 degrees. For the middle of April, that is nearly unheard of. There is some rain forecast for this weekend, although Saturday’s average for the forecasters is only 5-10mm. The longer term forecast has very little on the horizon and the net result of all this is both growers and buyers are getting extremely nervous. Although there has certainly been some liquidity in grain markets with the increased prices, the enthusiasm to sell, even at $5-10/MT over values from last week, is dampened (pardon the pun) by concern for the upcoming planting window. We get the feeling there are many grain buyers who have obligations into multiple delivered homes and are going to struggle to buy grain over the next month or so, especially with the sowing window upon us.
The spread from feed wheat to the higher protein grades has narrowed by $5-10/MT over the past week. SFW sellers are achieving anywhere from $260-28/MT on an exfarm basis, as they fill some of the shorts in the market. Local consumers are having to contend with a $320/MT delivered market into Newcastle, and with good freight rates still available, grain will find its way to this market or to Queensland. The Griffith market zone is trading at $280-285/MT delivered and there is good demand at this level. On the new crop front, selling is completely non-existent, as it would take a brave seller to make sales with very little moisture profile. Bids are around the $305-310/MT level and we suspect, even at these levels, they are not attracting a lot of sales.
Barley has continued its strong push this week with numbers holding at around $260-270/MT exfarm in Southern Riverina, while north of the Murrumbidgee is closer to $270-280/MT exfarm. It gets higher the further north and further east you go. The Melbourne market continues post strong prices, also at around the $280/MT delivered level. Time and rain will tell, however barley will continue to be tight going through to new crop, so current prices may be here to stay for a while. New crop is still at reasonably firm levels with F1 pricing at $210-225/MT site in a lot of locations.
Canola has been quite steady week on week, with offshore movements basically sideways and dry weather leading into planting keeping a floor under the market. Old crop is pricing around $530/MT Port Kembla track, therefore a lot of locations are still short of the magic $500/MT number.
Prices as at 13th April 2018