THE 2018 mungbean season is drawing to a close, ending on a high note that has seen production reach around the second highest year ever and the crop consolidate its new-found mainstream status.
Australian Mungbean Association president, Mark Schmidt, said packers were still packing product from this season’s harvest and some of the sales were out to July and August.
“A large percentage of the crop has already been pre-sold waiting to be packed. There are still a few growers who have product stored on-farm waiting for the new financial year before they sell. But at least 90 per cent will have been sold, packed and hopefully processed by the end of July,” he said.
Mr Schmidt estimated production for the season, including the spring and summer crop, would be in the vicinity of 80,000-90,000 tonnes, although final figures wouldn’t be known until the export tallies came out in August/September.
“..growers..are seeing mung beans not only as an opportunity crop but as a main crop.”
“As a year it is the second or third largest ever. The highest year was 160,000 tonnes. So, given we had a mixed planting season where some areas were exceptionally dry and missed out on the rain, overall it is a very encouraging year,” he said.
“Prices went up during the season, most people averaged 1 tonne/hectare plus in yield and the majority of the product was processing quality.”
Mr Schmidt said the price for processing mung beans started the season at around $950-$1000/t to the grower, but ended up close to $1300-$1350/t for the better-quality beans.
“At present, a little bit of heat has come out of the market because China is getting close to covering their requirements. We are now seeing processing beans trading close to $1200-$1250/t.”
“India didn’t buy much. They came in late in the year to buy some product and only bought a very small quantity. Pricewise, they wanted to buy the manufacturing beans because they were a little bit cheaper.
“Thankfully, China was the most aggressive. The bulk of the product went into Vietnam and China.”
Mr Schmidt said he was excited about mungbean prospects for next year because, with the weather remaining dry for winter crop, there was plenty of scope for growers to look at including mungbeans in next year’s farming programs.
“The message we are getting from growers is they are seeing mung beans not only as an opportunity crop but as a main crop. So, the more growers who put mung beans in every year will see mung beans continue to grow as a major summer crop,” he said.
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