Sorghum crops which desperately needed rain two weeks ago will define the direction of feedgrain values in the north. Meanwhile the boats keep on coming, providing a lifeline for the coastal and inland consumer.
Helicoverpa caterpillar numbers have dropped significantly in the past week after the damaging pest gave northern sorghum crops a torrid time over recent months.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bought 110,095 tonnes, or 96 per cent, of the 114,643t of feed barley Australia exported in November, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Hot and dry weather, and a pause in the arrival of vessels from Western Australia, have seen values for feedgrain lift in the past week as end-users bid up to book coverage for nearby delivery as yield outlooks slip for later-planted sorghum crops.
A mixed outlook for Australia’s sorghum production, and a domestic price which the drought has kept at well above export parity, are giving the trade plenty to think about as the sorghum harvest kicks into gear.
Growers and traders wishing to store or accumulate sorghum from the upcoming harvest will have access to Boolah Commodity Management sites as it moves into warehousing in northern New South Wales and Brisbane with an eye to bulk loading of vessels.
Dry conditions in Brazil, a wet December in Argentina, mixed prospects for Australia’s sorghum crop, and uncertainty about China’s buying patterns in light of its trade dispute with the US are all affecting the rhythm of the global summer-crop market.
Rain in the past week across eastern Australia’s cropping areas not only halted the winter-crop harvest in late-maturing areas, prompting short-covering by end-users to ensure adequate supplies of wheat into January, but also proved a game-changer for southern Queensland’s sorghum outlook.
A cut to Argentina’s production prospects, buying from Egypt, and the likelihood of a reduction in Russia’s wheat exports have given strength to world wheat values, while in Australia, the sorghum crop in areas which missed out on recent heavy falls looks for some rain for Christmas.
An intense rain front that produced falls of between 50 and 150 millimetres – and in some cases upwards of 300mm – on Queensland’s Darling Downs over the weekend has saved this season’s sorghum crop.