Reid Seaby, Agfarm Regional Manager WA
Harvest had been making slow progress across WA prior to this week but the warmer and drier conditions have allowed things to advance at a more ‘normal’ rate. Albany remains a bit of an exception with some growers finding it relatively slow going in many areas simply due to the lack of warm weather. CBH’s harvest update released last week showed just shy of 5MMT of all grains had been received so far this harvest, approximately one third of the estimated crop. Just over 2MMT was received last week alone so it would be realistic to assume the WA harvest will be about 50% complete by the end of this week.
Barley yields continue to stay at the high end of expectations but some canola yields in the south of the Albany zone have been disappointing. As harvest has moved south the barley quality has seemed to improve with about 50% being delivered as malt quality. It is believed growers are well sold on barley but they continue ‘chip away’ at these levels and it seems to be a similar story with both wheat and canola.
Feed barley markets have been volatile since China announced they would be launching an anti-dumping investigation into Australian barley and as a result there is a perception of greater certainty and stability in wheat markets. It consequently seems growers have moved from being sellers of feed barley to viewing wheat sales as their preferred option. WA wheat prices have recovered this week with APW1 in KWI up $2/MT to $352/MT FIS and 2019/20 APW1 in KWI up $7/MT from last week to climb back over $300/MT FIS. Malt spreads pulled back and as a result, values fell $20/MT from last week to sit at $334/MT FIS in KWI while feed values were essentially unchanged. Canola was also lower, down $4/MT to $572/MT in Kwinana.
Prices as at 29th November 2018
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.