Grain Prices

Feed grain update: Buyers play and miss as tonnes slip into export markets

Luke Walker, Alliance Grains, November 24, 2016

Domestic grain buyers are feeling like out-of-form Australian batsmen at the moment, missing opportunities to buy grain at harvest as tonnes slip past them into export and protein markets.


Luke Walker, Alliance Grains, Toowoomba

Growers have been more focused on just getting the grain off the paddock and into storage before they worry about marketing.

Dry weather in the last few weeks has been positive for the headers as the harvest rolls along for a bumper wheat harvest.

With record yields in some areas, the wheat harvest is on track to hit forecasted predictions of a 30 million mt Australian crop. Barley is also forecast at a 9Mmt crop.

Wheat quality has been mixed with paddocks varying on protein and yields.

Growers have been delivering into their local grain depots to secure value for their higher protein loads. Currently APH2 wheat 13% protein or better is paying $40 premium over low protein wheat.

Make no mistake, this harvest has all been about chick peas.

With a late finish markets have been under pressure with the price falling since the start of November from $1040 delivered Dalby to $750 this week.

Pressure has been intensifying to nearly breaking point on all parties involved including growers carriers and buyers.

With limited freight growers have struggled to supply existing contracts. As one grower said “this has been the most stressful harvest I have ever seen in over 30 years”.

Current Markets

Current markets on a delivered Darling Downs feedlot basis for December for wheat have been trading at $218 this week and barley $186 delivered.

Old crop Sorghum has been running hot these weeks with values trading $15 stronger then wheat on the downs, exporters have seen recent demand into containers for our sorghum.

New crop Sorghum has also been gathering momentum with Chinese interest for bulk vessels and containers, March April delivered Downs has traded $230 this week up $25 this month.

January plus carry to June wheat delivered Darling Downs feedlot has been trading around $222 with that market also firming, this is mainly driven by the freight squeeze on the market due to lack of trucks.

We may see the pressure ease once the harvest madness is all completed and markets regain some composure as we still have a bumper wheat crop to be consumed.

Feed Wheat delivered Newcastle trading $220 for December January. Barley December delivered Riverina area trading $145 and Melbourne Geelong barley trading $185. Wheat delivered Southern NSW $220, wheat into Goulbourn Valley trading $240 -$245 range.


  • Prices quoted in this column are of an indicative nature only to illustrate trends and do not represent a definitive buy or sell price at a given point in time. For specific prices for your region contact the author at [email protected] or 0427 372 793 or twitter @lukewalker711


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