VIC Market Update – 18/04/2019

James Ryssenbeek, Agfarm Regional Manager VIC

More farmers have started sowing this week predominately stockfeed; vetch, oats and pasture. Weather continues to make for cautious planning across all forms of agribusiness at the moment, but I did speak with a grower near rainbow who will start lupins this week. There is still plenty of time to get the main grain crops in before the window closes, so fingers crossed the weather is kind between now and then.

Markets remain quiet. Stockfeed sales continue, but as a general comment, old season sales remain very quiet. Sellers want to see if lack of rain will push prices up, and buyers don’t want to push prices just prior to sowing so are buying as required. New season crop values have strengthened slightly over the week although trade has been limited. Most rallies would likely be weather driven at this time.
Happy Easter everyone, may the weather and the chocolate be good to us all!

Prices as at 18th April

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

 

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CNSW Market Update – 18/04/2019

Anthony Hall, Regional Manager NSW & QLD

It was another dry week right across NSW and QLD and there’s unfortunately little on the forecast. It’s now two weeks since the last change came through brining rain. For most areas in NSW it looks like the only activity come the Anzac day sowing trigger will be dry sowing. The temperature is back into the 30’s this weekend and the heat is taking its toll on any green pick we had. We’re hearing anyone who had sown oats is desperate for rain and if nothing comes within the next two weeks it will be dead. While the dry is not good for the winter cropping it is making for a smooth cotton pick. Picking started ramping up this week in the central NSW valleys. Reports are, the yield in general was down a little this year 12 to 14 bales as some ran short of water or couldn’t keep the water up due to pumping restrictions in the heat.

There is still plenty of farmer interest this week for supplementary livestock feed, this is creating a few premiums in the markets for those who have grain left to sell. It’s decision time though, should farmers sell livestock now, as if the season doesn’t turn it will be an expensive year feeding. But if it does break it will be a good time to have stock on hand as they will be hard to find.

It’s been a tough week on the markets front with the falls in CBOT filtering through to our domestic prices. SFW1 delivered downs was bid at $403/MT but very little on the sell side. New crop bid darling Downs traded this week between $362-369/MT. Barley closed out the week trading around the $385-388/MT mark, again very thin on the trade volumes. We have seen a little bit of sorghum trading this week. It seems growers are keen to liquidate their stock in the private storage system. Delivered Downs this week for Sorg1 was around the $348-352/MT mark which is very similar to last week.

Prices as at 18th April

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

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SNSW Market Update 18/04/2019

Matthew Noonan, Agfarm Account Manager

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Easter…and some rain. Markets remain steady to slightly softer with action limited. The livestock feeding market continues to be where the odd premium is popping up, but it is not in large volumes compared to May-Aug last year. Plenty of people are doing the sums at this stage to see if it’s worthwhile feeding or sending stock to market. The problem is sheep/cattle prices aren’t jumping to levels to make this decision easy at present.

Further softness came into wheat markets over the last few days with CBOT dropping 14c/bu in one session a few days ago. As much as this shouldn’t affect our pricing, it does play on the mind of the market as a whole. It’s widely assumed most consumers/traders are sorted for April (Easter) logistically now and will check back in post Anzac Day, hoping we have received some rain by then to kick start 2019 swing. Griffith market zone has ranged around $375-385/MT delivered May range on bid side with offers close to $390-400/MT. I would suggest there has been some selling over last few weeks for late April to early May delivery so trucks can get rolling and pick up fertiliser for sowing and also create a little cashflow. New crop however is playing to the weather tune with nearby forecasts not showing much promise lifting values in Port Kembla track APW1 multigrade by $5-10/MT week on week, now at $350-355/MT.

Old crop barley in the track system remains rather subdued but it is trading exfarm/delivered around the Riverina, mostly grower to grower trades for livestock feeding purposes from $390-400/MT and higher. If you’re getting $400/MT plus exfarm, this would be a continued sell as at that value, it closes up the spread wheat has had over the past three to four months to nearly nothing. Like wheat on the 2019/20 pricing barley is up closer to $15/MT across most southern NSW and central west sites now ranging around $280-290/MT Port Kembla track which makes the spread from ASW1 around minus $45/MT. This is still a little too big a spread to look at barley before wheat, but it has closed the gap. A spread closer to $30-35/MT would make barley more competitive versus wheat, but with the China barley probe in place for the foreseeable future, current spreads may be ok going forward.

 
 
 
Without sounding like a broken record, canola prices on old crop are steady again with hardly any change all week. If anything, the track market is a little softer while delivered markets have again worked back and forth in a tight $5/MT range with nearly all crushing plants around $575-590/MT delivered. New crop, as expected, has crept higher off the back of a slow start to sowing and is currently around $565-579/MT Port Kembla track level.
 

Prices as at 17th April

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

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WA Market Update – 18/04/2019

Reid Seaby, Regional Manager WA

On Friday of last week, GIWA released their first crop report for the 2019 season and the consistencies with what we have been sharing with you over the past month or so were evident. They suggested the intended canola plantings were going to increase 15% year on year but with the lack of rain to date, estimates have been pulled back to be similar to that of last year. Intended barley area is also expected to be similar to last season which highlights any concerns regarding marketing opportunities to China, Japan or South Korea are seemingly being outweighed by rotations and agronomics. GIWA is estimating a total of 8.3 million hectares will be planted in 2019 of which about 55% will be wheat, 20% will be barley, 15% canola and the balance made up of lupins, oats and pulse crops.

Seeding is yet to properly get underway as last weekend’s rain failed to produce anything of significance. There were a few thunderstorms in the north and east which dumped 20 – 40mm over some farms but the areas which did get rain were scarce. After last year, most growers are keen to wait for a break in order to get a knockdown and clean up some weed issues that have resulted from last year’s dry sowing.

Prices were lower again and the losses were across the board. Old crop APW wheat tumbled $11/MT in Kwinana, back to $303/MT FIS. Barley too was softer, but the drop wasn’t as significant with feed ending the week at $288/MT which is down only $2/MT from last week. Canola was unchanged but bids are weak and of no interest to growers. A positive move was however seen in new crop markets with APW1 hitting the magical $300/MT mark which is $20/MT higher than where it was valued seven days ago and $10/MT up from Tuesday. Although a lot of grower’s target sales around this level, it is unlikely to see much engagement given the weather and the time of year.

 

Prices as at 17th April 2019

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

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SA Market Update 18/04/2019

Kate Phillips, Agfarm Regional Manager South Australia

The only thing I can see on SA’s forecast in the next week is a delivery of Easter eggs on Sunday morning. There is a slight chance of some falls, but this is likely to disappear over the coming days, as has been the case since the start of the year.

It’s a dry start to sowing 19 as expected and with the start has come a quietening in the market. Everyone is just watching, and it is likely to stay this way until the market gets a bit of a feel for how the season is likely to progress.

Over the past week APW1 wheat has come back slightly for the Port Adelaide zone and with it has brought a softening in the premiums for the higher protein grades. The new crop market continues to hold firm with growers able to lock away forward contracts for APW1 multigrade wheat at $295/MT. Growers are also able to fix grade spreads or look to keep these floating. The new crop barley market is level week on week with only new crop canola for the Port Lincoln zone showing a slight weakening, back -$3/MT to sit at $530/MT. There hasn’t been a tonne of new crop contracts written at this stage and with the weather and conditions as they are, this is completely understandable.

There has been increased interest in the sheep feed market across the state. F1 barley is being secured at $350-355/MT delivered farm mid north with a $5-15/MT spread down to F2/F3. For those still holding wheat onfarm there are delivered bids for ASW1 delivered Murray Bridge at $341/MT and SFW1 delivered Wasleys at $334/MT.

I wish you all a happy Easter. May you get to pop your feet up for a well-deserved rest at some stage over the break.

 

Pictured: Picture perfect in Kimba SA

 

Prices as at 18th April

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

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How Did World Grain Ending Stocks Increase?

How Did World Grain Ending Stocks Increase?

 

Chris Coore, Agfarm Advantage Manager

April 15th 2019

We’ve been hearing for the past 12 months that poor production has caused global demand to outweigh global production for the first time in many, many years. This was expected to reduce ending stocks and increase the need for an incredible year to replenish them. But, much to the market’s surprise, this didn’t occur, and we’re expected to close out the year with increased ending stocks. So, let’s take a look at how this happened and what it means for prices moving forward.

The significant drop in production last year, as seen in the northern hemisphere production table below, caused a world-wide rally in grain prices to help curb demand and ration the limited supply. This is normal supply and demand behaviour. But it would seem prices were in fact too high causing key demand points like China and Saudi to gradually deplete their own stock piles of wheat and barley rather than purchasing more. Essentially, the price rally cut too much demand out of the market. So instead of just curbing the demand profile by a little, global demand decreased, which has been an extremely rare event over the past 30 years. And as a result, in a very small global production year, world ending stocks are expected to increase.

On top of increased ending stocks there is an inverse in price from the 2018/19 season to 2019/20 season meaning prices are lower in the new season. So, if you are holding 2018/19 grain into the 2019/20 season, you will likely take a financial loss when the price steps down. To rectify this, prices fell sharp and quick to buy more demand and avoid probable loss.

Moving forward, if we see global and domestic supply levels normalise and prices subside, it is reasonable to assume that we will see a strong uplift in global demand. This will be driven by key consumptive homes buying more than normal as they look to replenish their stock piles with prices at an inverse from current levels.

Will supply levels normalise this season?

Russia, as you can see in the first table, has dramatically increased their production over the past 10 years, so they are key in returning to normal supplies. Currently, the combined production for wheat on the first table has total supply at 447MMT which is 10% above the 10-year average of 407MMT. But it is the time of year were speculation on production runs rife with Australia on the verge of sowing and the northern hemisphere heading into their key production phase. Unfortunately, though, we’re still kicking up dust at home and in need for substantial rains across the Australian cropping belt in the coming weeks to ensure we get a decent winter plant and at least an average crop. There is still plenty of time before the sowing window closes and we still have the potential for a big wheat and barley crop. However, with ANZAC day just around the corner, tension is building as to whether we will get enough fast enough to give us a good start.

What does this do for grain prices?

Currently, there is an inverse in price from old season to new season crop in Australia which suggests the market has priced our new crop to be much larger than the previous season. If the rain eventuates and we get a large new season crop, domestic prices will likely soften. If we don’t get the needed rain ahead of planting and wheat, barley and canola acres are reduced, we would expect new crop prices to rally in line with the current season. Globally, it’s expected the demand side of the market needs more supply than they have had over the past 12 months to replenish stocks, which should bode well for global prices into next season.

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VIC Market Update – 12/04/2019

James Ryssenbeek, Agfarm Regional Manager VIC

Sowing continues throughout Vic, but most I’ve spoken with won’t start in earnest until later this month. This week I spent some time around Shepperton/Tatura in what is a very diverse cropping, dairy and fruit area. It seems a good amount of pasture for dairy has been sown now. There were a few pivots running and some flood irrigation being applied. A lot of paddocks in the area haven’t had a summer irrigation due to the cost of water. Demand for water is high now to bring them back into production before cooler weather stalls growth. On a positive note, milk prices are rising with competition for supply as production backs off.

I also attended a forum on agri waste this week. Did you know, 45% of horticultural production is lost as waste between production and consumption! Too big or small, wrong colour, bruised…etc. Some very interesting discussions presented by chemists, professors and start-up tech businesses looking to turn production waste and by-products into profit. A lot will happen in this space in coming years!

Grain markets remain quiet. I’ve had a few calls this week from growers checking in with the market, but no sales. We continue to see movements of stockfeed in all states as the weather holds. Some consumers are also taking forward positions for coming months with prolonged dry, but otherwise quiet which is reflected in very stable pricing week on week.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pictured: Dairy rotary which currently milks 750 cows, taking about 1.5hrs.

 

Prices as at 11th April

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

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CNSW Market Update – 12/04/2019

Anthony Hall, Regional Manager NSW & QLD

It’s been very quiet on the rainfall front this week. There is a little bit of activity popping up in the predicted ANAZC Day week change, fingers crossed it eventuates. With the days still pretty warm and soil temperatures high, those who have sown oats or grazing wheat are saying it’s out of the ground within five days. However, they desperately need more rain within the next two weeks to keep it going.

This week I travelled through the areas that received 100mm last week; Gilgandra, Tooraweenah, Coona, Binnaway and Coola, to see what sowing activity was happening. It was good rain, however it fell too hard and too quick. All fence lines at the bottom of any sort of slope were covered in stick and silt. There was just no ground cover to hold the water back, which meant there was limited soil profile built from the event.

There are some growers who are going to start dry sowing next week throughout NSW. They are not 100% confident it is the right thing to do, however they need to make a start and if the season does go their way, they will be well in front. Those with large areas to sow need to get a start around ANAZC day or else their program gets pushed back too late by the time they get across all their country. QLD growers have started on some oats and grazing wheat but for the grain crops, they are waiting for the next big fall to get started.

Markets have remained unchanged this week even considering the moves in the international markets. We still need substantial rains before confidence increases enough to start moving the balance of old stock held.

Prices as at 11th April

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

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SNSW Market Update 12/04/2019

Matthew Noonan, Agfarm Account Manager

This week has been much of the same with markets trading sideways to slightly lower. Graziers (sheep feeding) seem to be slowly ticking along with some interest coming from much of the east coast and SA livestock producers. Paddocks are getting locked up for grazing oats and dual purpose wheat planting. A lot of country is worked up ready to go for the new season winter plant, however it seems to be very slow going at the moment.

Local wheat prices are fluctuating up and down a few dollars this week on the back of overseas pricing movements and a fair level of disinterest from most traders. Old crop values have softened over the last week with markets like Griffith now priced around $385-390/MT delivered April/May while Young market zone seems to be offered around $10-15/MT above Griffith. Going forward any new market direction won’t become apparent until well into May as we get towards the back end of the sowing window and more is known about the northern hemisphere crop conditions. New crop (2019/20) multigrades are relatively steady week on week with Port Kembla track pricing around $340-345/MT. After a normal year, one might be inclined to push ahead and lock in 5-10% of production. However, last year was not normal and most will be advised to wait and see or look at a non-physical form of hedging for the coming season.

Barley continues to get small interest from sheep producers through south east Australia as they look to either lot feed lambs or maintain condition on ewes for lambing. This will likely continue for the next four to eight weeks as paddocks are locked up for winter grazing purposes. Most delivered homes in southern NSW are priced around $360-380/MT delivered April/May, which compares to most sellers around a $380-400/MT exfarm. Barley continues to suffer from lack of interest internationally, meaning large stock levels remain in WA, and until the barley China probe is over this uncertainty will remain (no end in sight just yet).

 
Canola is a slow job at present. In a few months WA/SA will experience competition into Europe as northern hemisphere harvests come online. Domestically, there still seems to be a level of comfort from crushers to get through most of 2019. Therefore, old crop pricing remains steady week on week. New crop remains firm. The longer the rain holds its expected forward prices will stay this way. Like wheat, there is historically good value here, but advisable to get it in and out of the ground before locking anything in.

Pictured: Grazing wheat showing its head in Coolamon NSW.

 

Prices as at 11th April

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

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WA Market Update – 12/04/2019

Reid Seaby, Regional Manager WA

After a mostly dry week, a trough is forecast to develop on Saturday and will move inland during the day, possibly combining with a cold front that is expected to cross the coast Sunday. If this eventuates, we could expect to see rain through most of the northern and eastern WA wheatbelt over the weekend. It is unlikely to bring enough to provide a ‘break’ to the season and may even push too far northeast to benefit a large population of growers.

As we approach the middle of April the expectation of lower canola plantings remains given widespread early rains have been limited and there is a lack of good subsoil moisture. Some are looking to replace canola hectares with wheat given the uncertainty surrounding barley, but others will focus on the agronomic benefits and retain their barley rotations.

Moves in WA cash markets were reasonably significant over the last week. Wheat and canola were weaker while barley found some support. The lower quality wheat grades may continue to struggle given Black Sea supplies will be coming on to the market and soaking up the South East Asian demand. ASW1 in Kwinana fell away $11/MT after dropping $12/MT the week before and is now bid around $304/MT FIS. Barley bids went the other way with feed jumping $7/MT to $290/MT FIS in Kwinana and malt values climbing to $300/MT FIS.

2019/20 wheat price moves were modest but there is very little activity in new crop markets and that is likely to remain the case until we see a good break to the season.

 

 

Prices as at 11th April 2019

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

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