Reid Seaby, Agfarm Regional Manager WA
Crop conditions have improved on the back of a strong cold front that moved through the south of WA last week. The forecast lived up to expectations with falls of between 10 – 40mm recorded across much of the agricultural region, helping already emerged crops and allowing others to germinate. Forecasts for early next week look positive with another system expected to cross the coast throughout Monday and Tuesday, bringing with it falls that will hopefully again extend into the cropping areas. The recent rain has accelerated seeding with growers in Geraldton and Kwinana nearing completion if they haven’t already done so, and farmers down in Albany and Esperance aiming to have things wrapped up by around the end of next week.
Prices were mixed this week. International futures markets pushed higher but local values eased somewhat with the optimistic weather forecasts. Despite the dry weather in the US and Black Sea having a positive impact on markets, new crop APW1 in Kwinana fell $4/MT to finish at $308/MT FIS. Other price moves were generally positive with 2017/18 APW1 climbing to $312/MT in Kwinana, malt barley up $5/MT week on week and CAN1 jumping $4/MT to end the week at $541/MT FIS. With a little bit of rain around, the production risk is becoming less of a concern for some, giving them confidence to engage the market. If this continues, we may likely see values come under a little more pressure than they have been subject to over the past few months.
Prices as at 31st May