Northern grain prices eased last week as traders lowered buying ideas after last week’s storms.
Follow through rainfall from the previous week’s storms across central Queensland delivered beneficial rain through some parts of southern Queensland. The south-western cropping areas of southern Queensland recorded the best of the rain with Roma, St George and the western areas of Goondiwindi recording more than 50mm. This was the area’s best rain since March.
Rainfall amounts were generally lighter through the heart of the Darling Downs sorghum growing country. Miles, Dalby and Oakey received 30 – 40mm over the past week in a series of light showers but missed out on the heavier storms seen in the south west.
Stockfeed wheat bids fell by $10 to $330 into the Darling Downs markets as buyers pared back purchasing ideas with the improved rainfall outlook. Feed barley lost $8 to $10 a tonne to $325 delivered Downs markets. New season sorghum bids were $8 lower at $273 Downs for a March/April delivery.
Farmers are saying they need 75mm or more of rain to be comfortable about planting sorghum. Months of dry weather and heat has left paddocks void of moisture and it will take a soaking to wet soils sufficiently to justify planting.
The wetter pattern looks like it will continue into the middle of October according to the latest Bureau forecasts. Weather conditions will remain unsettled through the week with the chance of daily showers with the best chance of heavier falls later in the week. More scattered storms are likely through the next week or so, with farmers hoping for a downpour to make up for the dry winter.
Cattle slaughter rates through Queensland and NSW are rising as farmers are forced to offload livestock as the drought bites. After a slow start to the year, weekly cattle numbers have surged since June. The increase in cattle slaughter numbers coincides with the sharp decline in cattle prices, as farmers have been forces to quit livestock with the lack of pasture.
Australian grain exports are starting to slow as global buyers look for cheaper supplies. The latest monthly trade data showed that Australia exported 1.57 million tonnes of wheat in August down from 1.85mt in July and 2.3mt in June. Despite the slowdown in the shipping pace, Australia is on track to ship upwards of 22.5mt of wheat for the 2016/17 marketing year which would make it one of the biggest ever export years.
Barley exports continued the strong pace seen earlier in the season, the data showed. A further 600,000 tonnes of barley was shipped in August, lifting the marketing year exports to about 9mt.
United States wheat futures ended the week modestly lower after much needed rain fell across the winter wheat production regions. Dry conditions have been slowing the US winter sowing pace but last week’s rains will help rectify this.
Declines in US wheat futures were limited by the firmer trend in Black Sea wheat prices, which is offering underlying support to world wheat prices.