Matthew Noonan, Agfarm Account Manager
Loud thunder in the distance is a welcome sound to hear as I write this. These particular storms are not predicted to bring much rain, but the coming week to 10 days are starting to show some promise. Should it come, diesel will start burning across the Southern NSW cropping belt with early long season varieties going in now. Some oats for feed/cover have already been planted this past week. Markets remain steady week on week for the most part. Any good amount of rain will likely put some downward pressure on values for the short term.
The time is coming to work out what to do with those unsold wheat tonnes onfarm and in the system. Demand is slow going as most of the trade are completing current contracts with stock owned rather than continuing to remain long. Historically we are still in the upper stratosphere of prices with SFW1 in Griffith market zone still trading at around $400-405/MT. If the 2019/20 crop can get up out of the ground and resemble anything close to an average looking year, this will significantly drop values as we draw closer to Nov/Dec harvest. New crop values are still floating around $340-355/MT Port Kembla track and are better relative value compared to barley/canola.
Barley demand has crept in on us with some enquiry from sheep/cattle graziers looking to lock stock up and allow 2019/20 crops/pastures get out of the ground to secure fodder for spring/summer. Values have a large range of $370-400/MT exfarm depending who you talk too. Industry speculation is the China barley enquiry isn’t going to wrap up anytime soon which is not good for long term barley marketing internationally. Domestically, this is represented in local 2019/20 Port Kembla F1 forward prices which are around $260-265/MT at a $60-70/MT spread to wheat. However, if a big chunk of area goes into barley and we get close to average yields, prices are expected to decrease post-harvest next year.
Canola is steady for now with a slight uptick on values in Port Kembla zone with some sites up around $615/MT. New crop is at a discount but historically showing some value. However, unless a solid moisture profile is there it isn’t the commodity to start your 2019/20 marketing campaign with.
Photo: freshly sown grazing oats east of Wagga Wagga
Prices as at 22nd March
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.