Anthony Hall, Agfarm Regional Manager NSW & QLD
The only areas that have seen significant rainfall this week are through South Eastern Queensland. This has brought the totals for October in most areas of the Inner Darling Downs up to 150-200mm, while the Western Downs are a little lighter on at 70-100mm. This is excellent timing for summer crops, with continually improving conditions allowing growers to increase the area planted to sorghum and dry land cotton. To ensure the crops aren’t flowering through the peak heat period, growers will split their plant for sorghum and pull up sowing mid-November before starting again in late December to early January.
The heat and wind we have seen for most of this week has certainly advanced the winter crops closer to harvest. These conditions are likely to continue, with the temperature tipped to get to 37 degrees, backed by 40km/h winds at the end of this week.
Barley has begun to come off in Northern NSW this week, with growers reporting good protein levels of 12.5 – 13.0%. Wheat harvest is still a week or two away, however it may come in slightly earlier if the hot weather continues. The spread between wheat and barley is something that growers will be keeping in mind when they start making their marketing decisions. Currently, we are at a $5/MT spread, when normally it is around $15-$20/MT. Obviously, this is not a normal year, but it’s worth keeping an eye on these prices, as harvest selling pressure on both wheat and barley may see this spread widen for a short period of time.
The protein spreads we are currently seeing will draw a lot of wheat into the domestic milling market. As it stands now ASW1, APW1, AGP1 & SFW1 are all priced flat, with premiums start at H2 which is at +$12/MT and APH2 at +$15-$20/MT. The question now is whether or not these spreads will widen more when competition ramps up at harvest. This is likely to be governed by grower selling, which is still minimal while everyone sits back and waits to get a better understanding of tonnage and quality before committing to sales.
Prices as at 1st Novebemer
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.