Alistair Murphey, Agfarm Regional Manager CNSW

Local cash markets firmed slightly across the board this week, up anywhere between $2-3/MT for cereal grains. Canola on the other hand showed a solid move, with international futures firming into the Easter break.

Lack of grower selling continues to be the main reason why markets have firmed this week, and with forecasters predicting a dry start to April we could very well see the lack of liquidity continue after the Easter holiday.

The majority of unsold grain is held in on-farm storage, and given the dry outlook, sellers are holding on tighter than ever in case the new crop sowing window becomes compromised due to lack of rainfall.

Given the depleted nature of the moisture profile, we really need a solid, widespread 3-4 inches of rainfall to get things back on track prior to sowing.

Old crop chick peas have seen another kick this week pricing around the $560/MT mark delivered packer Central NSW, up about $10/MT from last week. Though we are still not seeing too much in the way of commitment in this market for now.

Sorghum values have remained firm this week as opportunistic export demand into China has begun to price competitively against the domestic markets for the Summer crop. Though there isn’t a great deal of selling in these markets either, as we are now starting to see evidence that the sorghum crop is smaller than what was expected earlier in the year.

It appears the market is buying in a very hand to mouth fashion at present, as the consumer doesn’t want to own too much stock at current values. Rainfall over the next six weeks will play a major role in consumer sentiment heading into the 2nd quarter of 2018.
If ample sowing rain becomes forecasted we would expect growers to engage the market once again, but until then we expect the standoff between buyer and seller to continue.

Prices as at 29th March 2018

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