Kate Phillips, Agfarm Regional Manager South Australia
The weather is heating up in the Great State this week and so are the headers. On Thursday, temperatures around the state were the highest they have been since the start of spring, and with this heat we have had our first fire ban of the season. A storm front is expected to roll through on the back of these hot temperatures and it is looking like it will bring a little rain with it. Showers are expected into the start of next week, however it doesn’t seem like there will be much in it.
Driving through the mid-north this week was surprising to some degree, when compared to driving through the same area back in August when the crops were struggling to get moving. it has become apparent that a lot of crops in the area have managed to recover and are looking better than anticipated. Several paddocks had been cut for hay, which is not at all surprising given the season. However, what was surprising was just how quickly harvest has begun in the area. A number of headers where rolling and a few paddocks were already done and dusted. Lentils looked to be hanging in there still, but speaking with different growers in the area it seems that the frost and wind may have done a little more damage than first thought.
If harvest pace continues this rapidly, combined with lower yield and reduced hectares to reap, then South Australia has the potential to be done with harvest before the Christmas break. Viterra reported earlier this week that they have received over 70,000MT, so we would likely expect that to be over the 100,000MT mark now.
In market news, we continue to see the cash at silo, contract and delivered bids soften week on week. Sites around the lower mid north are showing a premium over sites in areas such as the Yorke Peninsula. This is making for interesting decisions for growers on which sites to deliver to, although the general consensus is that this will probably even itself out as harvest gets into full swing.
At this stage, we are seeing limited engagement from growers as they concentrate on getting ready for harvest. We should see grower engagement pick up over the next few weeks as more headers start rolling and growers can get a gauge on what quality and tonnages they have. We are still seeing demand for old crop SFW1 wheat into delivered homes in the Adelaide zone with sellers locking in contacts north of $400/MT for delivery Nov/Dec.
Prices as at 1st November
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.