Matthew Noonan, Agfarm Account Manager SNSW
Another week, and not too much rain on the short term forecast. This has kicked in premiums again and is driving the feed markets for wheat and barley. Wheat is now pricing at around $250-270/MT exfarm and barley is at $255-275/MT south to north (west to east). Maize and rice has started to come off in the Irrigated areas with cotton another two to four weeks away. Most of these have had a good growing season with plenty of warm weather and blue skies. Feed/grit Maize has been selling for $270-280/MT exfarm prompt pickup from the Murrumbidgee growing areas with the same numbers if not $5/MT higher down on the Murray River. Cotton continues to go from strength to strength on the lint side with a bale of cotton ranging from $550-590/bale while the seed this year is at its lowest in a few seasons at around $200-220/MT free on truck. All eyes will be glued to the skies over the coming weeks, even a small 10-20mm would be very welcome to help kick winter sowing into gear.
Wheat sales have picked up this week with some good sales (nearly all as SFW1) into feed markets. The Griffith market zone has been trading at around $273-275/MT for prompt business during April, with $2-4/MT extra for deliveries pushed out to May, June and July. This has allowed us to get prices consistently around the $260-265/MT exfarm out west and $250-255/MT in the Southern Riverina closer to the Murray River. To the east (South West Slopes) markets have been at similar levels delivered ($270-275/MT). Some wheat from this area was working into Newcastle, but this has pulled up a bit with that market slightly lower at around $310-315/MT for April/May delivery. For now, we are seeing the Riverina and Central West end users pay enough to stop grain going into Newcastle, Liverpool Plains and/or QLD.
The barley market is running two races again with small sheep, cattle, dairy and pig produces coming back this week looking for a load here and there. There has also been some volume trading into bigger homes, however this is around $5-10/MT less in most cases at $260-275 (possibly closer to $280-285 in the north and far NE of Port Kembla Zone). This is providing some good values if you can move grain before sowing. If any meaningful rain falls we expect the market to drop around $5-15/MT from current levels. As for new crop, it is looking more likely an increase of barley will be planted this season due to a later start on sowing.
New crop prices are at around $260-265/MT PKE track. This will give around a $210-220/MT site price for F1 and +15/MT for LA1 (Malt), and could present some opportunity to lock in a decent level of cashflow in November/December 2018.
Canola remains rather steady in the old crop market. There are still good chunks to be sold in the system and the target is something close to $500/MT site. As for new crop there is not much interest here due to obvious weather related reasons. Currently prices remain steady, however if we continue without rain for much longer, prices will edge higher.
Prices as at 6th April 2018