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.
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.
Australia’s 2018 winter crop was a tale of two halves with Western Australia producing a near-record crop, while the eastern seaboard suffered the ravages of a crippling drought in many areas that saw tonnages well down on average.
The Western Australian winter crop has produced the goods over the 2018/19 season with the CBH Group taking in almost 16 million tonnes as harvest wraps up across the state.
Western Australia’s harvest is winding down, and intake at CBH Group’s sites hit 15.69 million tonnes on 28 December, which includes a record-breaking 7.75Mt received in the Kwinana zone.
Speculation is increasing that this season’s Indian wheat production could be much lower than last year, as less than average rainfall and higher than average temperatures threaten yields in the key winter crop regions as Peter McMeekin reports.
Grain received by Western Australian bulk handler CBH Group has this week passed its season estimate of 14.8 million tonnes, with harvest still well under way in the Albany and Kwinana zones but winding down in Esperance and Geraldton.
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.
As wheat exports increased annually rising by almost 3 million tonnes from the Black Sea region, recently overtaking the combined total of North American exports, the shift in dominance sounds a warning to Australia’s broadacre crop exporters.
Grain received in the eastern Australian harvest by GrainCorp and Viterra now totals 4.79 million tonnes (Mt) following receivals into their systems which totalled 152,900 tonnes in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and 391,071t in South Australia.