With some recent rainfall and the planting window coming to a close, it would be fair to say most growers are positive about the turnaround in sowing conditions and prices.

Compared to our Northern NSW peers, our crops are quite well established with 90% in the ground so far, while they continue to miss crucial rain events.

Canola has been the biggest winter crop casualty, losing most of its usual hectares to wheat and then barley.

Our local feed market for wheat has increased $45/mt in a month which has sustained the grain supply coming from SA but also drawn out any local growers who have been holding stock. Forward contract prices for new crop delivered to local feed markets are about $350/mt already.

Feed barley prices are attracting premiums for grower to grower sales with some reporting selling at $20-35/mt over posted silo prices.

Corn harvest is slowly ending and has been very drawn out. Growers are saying there is up to 20% yield loss due to heat stress and stretching irrigations. Some growers have been unable to fulfil contracts. Prices have stabilised around $450 ex farm for prime maize with premiums and discounts to grit and feed of approximately $10-15/mt.

The increase in wheat prices have been attributed to US corn futures prices firming due to poor weather conditions. Excessive rainfall in the US has halted corn and even spring wheat planting. Secondly, wheat prices have increased due to the latent threat of a dry winter in key growing regions throughout Australia. With six months still to go before 19/20 harvest, most market participants are keenly watching weather forecasts.

El Nino has been downgraded from ‘alert’ to ‘watch,’ however, the Indian Ocean Dipole is positive which historically has meant drier winters with clearer night skies and an increased chance of frost for southern and eastern Australia.

Please contact Luke Mancini on 0437 512 322 with any grain queries.