James Ryssenbeek, Agfarm Regional Manager VIC
I’ve spent part of this week north of Bendigo towards Pyramid Hill and Cohuna areas visiting customers and stores. Its noticeable how much corn you see in the area, most of which will go to local dairies. Although corn is in high demand for silage, high water prices are definitely reducing margins. From a starting point of ~380/MG in Sept 2018, water is trading at ~$500/MG today. Not many irrigators purchase 100% of their requirements at sowing, so a $100/MG plus increase makes the final watering costs high. Added to this, very hot temperatures have increased the need to water to ensure plants survive and thrive! Cereal irrigators in the area are looking forward to the corn crop harvest in hope water prices will come off some. If they don’t there will be a reduction in irrigated cropping – even with forward pricing at $300/MT.
Cereal news remains quiet in Vic. There has been limited fertiliser or chemical purchases so far. Those who had good rains in Dec/Jan have finished spraying for the moment, and the dry BOM outlook doesn’t create an environment for quick decisions.
Markets are off this week with little buying or selling interest. Seed cleaners are busy, however the seed market is motoring along with presumed shortages driving interest. Lower prices are also creating export opportunities with modest tonnages moving to port.
Prices as at 14th January
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.