Rains benefit CQ farmers

Rains benefit CQ farmers


Agribusiness
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Recent rain improves prospects for CQ wheat and barley crops.

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Prospects for wheat and barley crops in Central Queensland remain promising after last week's rains. Importantly, the timely rain will help farmers capitalise on the favourable start to the season.

Emerald received the best of the rain with 22mm for the week with 18mm of this falling on Friday. Totals were a little lighter in other areas, with Clermont, Blackwater, Rolleston and Springsure receiving a 14-15mm for the week.

Last week's rain slowed sorghum harvest in Central Queensland. Sorghum is flowing back into the Darling Downs as the crop is harvested at prices of $340 to $345 delivered. CQ farmers have been cautious sellers of sorghum off the header given the tight grain supplies in southern Queensland.

Central Queensland wheat and barley, which will start to be harvested in eight to 10 weeks, is also expected to be trucked south into the Darling Downs feed grain buyers.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George

Grain markets were broadly lower last week after a selloff in United States grain markets and another general rain across WA and south eastern Australia.

US wheat futures fell 2-3 per cent for the week as winter wheat harvest pressure kicked, increasing the need to boost the poor export sales pace.

New season's stockfeed wheat fell $12 to $378 delivered Darling Downs while barley was down $7 at $355. Smaller declines were seen in the old crop months where prices continue to be supported by tight supplies in southern Queensland, and more broadly across eastern Australia.

Old crop stockfeed wheat was $5 lower at $405 delivered Downs and with barley at $415. Old crop barley supplies remain scarce, despite last year's record large WA crop of close to 5 million tonnes.

Australia's wheat exports for May were 1.2mt. It's the first time Australia's monthly wheat exports have exceeded 1mt in the 2018/19 marketing year.

National barley exports for May were around 300,000 tonnes, with most of this shipped from WA. WA has exported around 2.85mt of barley from October to May. Traders estimate that a further 1mt of barley may have been shipped to Queensland and other eastern Australian states in the past nine months.

Recent widespread rain across WA, SA and south eastern Australia eased early concerns after a late start in some parts. Unfortunately, southern Queensland and northern NSW remains dry.

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