Matthew Noonan, Agfarm Account SNSW
We are now well past the middle of April and still haven’t really hit any ‘proper’ cold Autumn weather. The front that went through last weekend was largely ineffective in terms of providing any real relief from the dry. The majority of area received <5mm, which was of no real help. Many growers have commenced their sowing programs now with 10% canola sowed dry and 5% of wheat (mainly grazing wheats such as Kittyhawk or Wedgetail) and also some oats. If we don’t receive a decent fall on rain in the next three to four weeks, we could expect the canola hectares to be scaled back significantly, due to the higher production risks associated with planting into an incomplete moisture profile.
Given the strength of barley currently, many grain consumers must be looking hard at whether to switch to wheat, which is trading at a $5-10/MT premium. On an exfarm basis, SFW type wheat is trading at anywhere from $265-280/MT with the majority of the demand coming from the Griffith zone, the Newcastle zone and into the South West Slopes. It is hard to see this situation changing in the short term, at least until we see some significant rainfall which will help the prospects for next year’s crop. New crop wheat on a track basis, is being bid at around $310/MT Port kembla, but from our conversations, very little (if anything) is trading at this level, which is not all that surprising.
The past week has seen some big exfarm barley numbers floating around with $290-300/MT in the east and up to around $275-280/MT in the west. A lot of this trade would be going into the sheep and cattle farmer market. The larger consumers are also starting to pick up but are still pricing $10-15/MT lower for now. Further south around the VIC border we are seeing $265-270/MT exfarm to head north. On the new crop front, Port Kembla track is pricing at around $270-275/MT and you can also get options for January 2019 delivery into Melb/Geel at around $270-275/MT which would represent $230-235/MT exfarm for VIC/NSW border region.
The canola old crop market has remained rather subdued as demand seems to be coming in waves. For now, the new crop pricing will be the one that helps push markets higher, as overseas has been grinding slightly higher over the past week. As for new crop marketing, it will be a case of seeing it in and out of the ground, and until levels are around $550/MT Port Kembla track or better, we don’t expect much to be booked up.
Prices as at 20th April 2018