GRAINCORP’s new online cash marketplace, CropConnect, commenced last week, bringing growers the opportunity for the first time to place firm offers in the Graincorp online market.
The company has developed the CropConnect software to service growers and buyers and will eventually phase out the existing GrainTransact service.
The evolution of CropConnect has its history in the experiences of Graincorp, its growers and downstream customers in previous applications.
The old system had buyers posting bids and growers accepting the bids. By definition it was somewhat rigid, and today’s software and platform technology allows grower-to-buyer transactions to be linked with growers’ NGRs, giving both parties real time management of their bids, offers and bookings.
Peter Sloan, grain buyer at Manildra, told Grain Central: “Manildra will actively post bids on CropConnect. Farmers put up firm offers, and it’s important to ensure farmers can always see bids from buyers.
“CropConnect will every day let us manage what tons we buy, by site by grade,” he said.
Caragabal grower and former NSW Farmers’ Grains Committee chair Daniel Cooper, said one of CropConnect’s biggest advantages was likely to be its ability to deliver short-lived premiums at specific sites.
“Quite often buyers have preferences for particular sites, and if a grower has set a target that’s $5 above the cash price, they might be able to capitalise on that without having to pick up the phone,” Mr Cooper said.
“It tells you what the market is bidding, so if you nominate your price on the platform and you get busy with things other than marketing, you’re less likely to miss the good prices.”
“If the grain is warehoused in the GrainCorp system already, and can be priced on a digital platform, it’s also a lot less running around for the trade too.”
“I think what CropConnect will do is streamline the system – less time for the grower on the phone to buyers and brokers, and less paperwork.”
CropConnect’s transparency of both sides of the market, as well as market depth, displayed on screen, with fewer old-style drop-down menus, allows growers to service their transactions on desktop, tablet or mobile, for cash sales from warehousing to buyers.
The software behind CropConnect enables growers to compare information about their stockholdings, values and other bid prices.
Silo price trends are also there for growers to compare weekly, monthly or three-month data.
Some of the nuts and bolts are as follows:
The holdings page gives growers an overview of holdings grouped by commodity and site. To make an offer (on one or many load tickets), growers set the tonnage, set the target price and the duration of offer. Filters allow growers to search by ticket or site. The system shows a list of available tickets and tickets already on offer.
Preferred buyers only
Growers build a list of preferred buyers and these are the only buyers who can accept an offer placed by this grower; that is a buyer needs to be on the grower’s preferred buyer list.
The marketplace tab shows all offers (and all bids) currently available. Buyers can view and compare offers. To accept an offer a buyer needs to be on the grower’s preferred buyers list. Buyers can accept multiple offers or one-by-one.
Buyers new bids become active on the hour
Buyers can place their bids individually or by file upload, and can be adjusted by tonnage limit and price. These bids become pending to be released on the hour for growers to review and accept.
Auto matching, a new feature of CropConnect, will automatically transact offers with matching bids of equal or greater value from a preferred buyer at the buyer’s bid price. A curfew overnight on auto matching and buyers accepting offers protects growers from overnight market movements.
For more information visit the Crop Connect home page here
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that this was the first time growers could place firm offers in the online market. It has been amended to state that it was the first time growers could place firm offers in the Graincorp online market.