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.