Sorghum sinks with improved weather

Sorghum sinks with improved weather

Grains
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Wet weather has seen sorghum prices tumble.

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Good December rain and continued storms in the first week of 2021 have seen sorghum prices tumble.

Delivered Darling Downs sorghum prices climbed above $330 a tonne in early December as dry weather threatened summer crop production but has since plunged $40 as the season has improved.

Parts of the Darling Downs received upwards of 100 millimetres of rain during December with more storms expected later this week.

Uncertainty about export demand into China has left traders cautious about owning high priced sorghum. Traders remain wary about selling to China amid the fear that sorghum will be the next in the growing list of Australian exports that Beijing may ban.

Short covering pushed southern Queensland sorghum prices to a $30 premium to stockfeed wheat bids into the Downs and $50 above feed barley in early December, as traders scrambled to buy back early season sales as the season outlook faltered.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George

But the storms rains have been patchy and not all the state's sorghum areas are optimistic about the upcoming harvest. Storm activity has been patchier in northern and western Downs and this pattern has extended into the Central Highlands. Crops that have been under the storms have benefited, but nearby areas that missed the rain are still struggling.

Farmers are hoping for more rain this week as Tropical Cyclone Imogen intensifies in far northern Queensland. Imogen has dumped big rains in parts of tropical Queensland and is expected to result in general rain across southern Queensland and northern NSW later this week.

Australian grain prices remain well supported by strong overseas markets, despite the near record large winter crop harvest.

Crop ideas continue to swell after better than expected harvests WA, SA, and Victoria, with many tipping national wheat crop to exceed 33 million tonnes.

International wheat and feed grain markets ended 2020 at six-year highs in a mix of strong demand and global supply fears. Uncertainty over Russia's 2021 winter wheat harvest, which continues to battle dry weather, is keeping world wheat prices supported.

Australian exporters are reporting strong demand from buyers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa as importers struggle to access supplies from the Black Sea.

Soaring corn and soybean prices, where La Nina weather patterns are threatening yields in Argentina and southern Brazil, have also offered support for global grain markets.

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