Grain farmers were left disappointing last week as potential crop saving rains failed to reach into the southern Queensland cropping zones.
Scattered showers moved through the Maranoa and Darling Downs on Thursday and Friday but falls were limited to a few millimetres in most areas. Totals were slightly higher along the NSW border where Talwood, Goondiwindi and Texas received 8mm to 10mm.
Farmers were pinning hopes of some rain out of last week’s change, but it’s been a season of ‘too little, too late’. Thin, patchy crops through the western Downs are already running up into head as they attempt to make the most of the limited available soil moisture.
Heavier falls were recorded across NSW and south eastern Australia which damped domestic grain markets.
Northern NSW received a general 10mm to 20mm out of the change with the heaviest falls in the eastern cropping areas. Narrabri, Bellata and North Star received upwards of 20mm which will help to maintain the above average yield outlook in these parts. However, falls of 10mm to 15mm through the Walgett, Rowena and Garah areas has provide little relief for these areas which have struggled through three months with limited rainfall.
Heavier falls through central and southern NSW, Victoria and much of SA have come just in time to save some crops adding valuable moisture for others. Most of central and southern NSW registered 20mm to 30mm for the week.
Grain markets through the Darling Downs were steady to lower with the general rain in the south. Stockfeed wheat into the Darling Downs fell by $10 to $320 a tonne while F1 feed barley gained $1 to $317.
One of the messages from last week’s Australian Grains Industry Conference in Melbourne was that feedlot grain demand is expected to remain robust.
New season’s APW multi grade bids into Brisbane climbed by $10 to $330 port.
United States wheat futures posted their fourth consecutive weekly loss, now having tumbled more than 20 per cent from the highs in early July. Benchmark CBOT wheat futures fell by a further 5pc last week as selling pressure emerged on reports of large wheat harvests in Russia and Ukraine as well as sharp declines in corn on improving weather conditions.
Bumper yields in Russia has seen local analysts ramp up expectations of this year’s wheat crop to 74 to 75 million tonnes, which would top last season’s record harvest. There is little doubt that Black Sea wheat supplies will be huge, but below average quality and shipping capacity constraints may limit how much of the crop will be available for global milling wheat importers.
The USDA will issue its August supply and demand estimates later this week where they must juggle the impressive Black Sea wheat yields with the poor yields in the US spring wheat along with shrinking crops in Canada and Australia.