Nathan Michael, Agfarm Account Manager Southern NSW
Headers were running at full capacity to harvest as much as possible before the weekend rains. Although the front hasn’t completely passed, many regions received up to 100mm over the course of Friday and Saturday and up to 150mm for the month. We have started to see some evidence of quality issues, especially close to the border, but it is expected (unfortunately) there will be more downgraded grain delivered after the rain. Wheat pricing remained rather steady to slightly lower last week on some higher protein grades. Barley remains steady, while malt quality in the system is attracting better premiums week on week. Canola has been the star performer, but we are starting to see some selling pressure which provided a reasonable $10-15/MT decrease last week.
Wheat performance has been refreshing compared to barley and canola in some locations. So far, the make-up of the Central West and Western Riverina has been around 60-70% H2 or better. The South West Slopes and Southern Riverina has seen a little more APW1 with the odd sprinkling of ASW1 leaving the percentage of H2 or better closer to 50-60%. For now, it feels most exfarm wheat parcels, especially ASW1 are $5-10/MT away from working. In the system, APH1/APH2 has continued to be a good sell, H2 has remained firm on Port Kembla Track and APW1 has moved up around $8-10/MT over the past two weeks. With the APW1 percentage being reasonably small, it is starting to create a few shorts, whether it be on pure consumer demand or for potential paper shorts in futures contracts to come.
Exfarm F1 barley December pick up is seeing prices range from $225-240/MT dependent on location. However, the majority of barley in Central West and Western Riverina has been harvested and is packed away until January. Malt prices in the system are steadily climbing as the overall quantity of barley is low, and the percentage of malt is low.
Canola prices dropped almost $10/MT last week, as the ICE/MATIF decreases followed through to the Australian market, now priced at around $560-566/MT Port Kembla. Although a relatively large drop, this still has canola values sitting in the top 20% of historical prices. With this decrease, selling through NSW has slowed down. Harvest selling pressure should keep up for now and we may not see any stability until back end of December or into January.
Photoed: Harvest at The Rock – Delivering before the rain
Approximate harvest completion Friday 1st December
Prices as at Friday 1st December 2017