Matthew Noonan, Agfarm Account Manager SNSW
After a slow start, harvest is now progressing nicely through the area. An estimate of harvest completion across the region is as follows:
Yields are varied due to the patchy rainfall throughout the growing season. There have been many reports of canola yields as low as 200kg/ha and oil yields in the low 30’s. The best of the crops are going 2MT/ha and oil in the low 40’s, however there are more poor crops reported than good ones. Barley has been largely in line with expectations with yields varying from 0.7MT/ha right up to 4MT/ha in the more easterly areas with an estimated 30% being graded malt. Wheat has probably fared slightly better than some were expecting with yields as low as 0.4MT/ha right up to 3MT/ha. Quality on the whole has been very good with an estimated 70% of grain harvested going H2 grade or better. Prices have withheld the normal harvest selling pressure as buyers compete to purchase stock. Canola is especially strong, with many resisting the urge to sell at $530-540/MT site and instead warehousing.
Current wheat prices are still holding strong with ASW trading at $280-285/MT, APW trading at $295-300/MT, H2 trading at $315/MT and APH2 trading at $340-345/MT, all Port Kembla track. There have been quite a few APH2 sales at anything close to $300/MT site, which shows many are happy with these prices. Some H2 has been sold, mostly for cashflow purposes, and the majority of ASW and APW (of which there is not much volume) is being warehoused. With the lower than usual percentage of feed grain harvest in Queensland and NSW, there is an expectation lower grades of grain may be worth more in the new year as the demand for feed grain increases, therefore many are holding these stocks in hope of some upside.
Barley harvest has come and gone reasonably quickly for some, with lower planted acres and crops not yielding a lot. There has been some malt reported, however the majority of barley harvest has been F1 quality. Exfarm prices are around $235-240/MT in many regions for prompt(ish) pickup. There has also been some interest from northern buyers to obtain stocks in the new year, which is one to monitor closely over the next month.
Canola has moved slightly lower over the past week as selling started to pick up, however it would seem many are holding tight for now. Crushers seem happy to wait and see what the Victorian crop and market does when it starts to come off.
Photoed: A light wheat crop being harvested in Murrami NSW
Prices as at Friday 24th November 2017
*** Ex Farm prices are working lower pricing being in the Southern & Western areas and higher in the Northern & Eastern