Unsettled weather in the past week provided patchy storms for southern Queensland but were broadly disappointing for most grain farmers. While storms lashed the southern Queensland coast and pushed deep into NSW, limited rain fell across the Darling Downs.
Beneficial rain was seen in the Maranoa and western Darling Downs with falls ranging from 15-35mm. Surat received 37mm for the week with Roma receiving 22mm. Rainfall totals quickly tapered away to the east with little rain seen across the main summer cropping areas. Miles and Meandarra received 5mm for the week with even lighter falls around Jandowae, Dalby, and Goondiwindi.
Weekend storms offered some relief from the prolonged dry spell for Central Highlands farmers. Clermont and Emerald received 20-25mm on Sunday with lighter falls further south.
Conditions in the western Downs and Maranoa have improved after good January rain but remain extremely dry through the inner Downs.
Despite some improved rainfall in recent weeks, large areas of southern and central Queensland remain extremely dry having suffered significant rainfall deficiencies for most of 2020. Persistent widespread and above average rainfall is needed to relieve the ongoing rainfall deficiencies.
Northern grain markets had a softer feel last week with declines in global wheat markets and subdued feed grain demand by the feed lot sector.
Stockfeed wheat into the Downs eased by $3 to $313 delivered with barley down $2 to $278.
Weakness in global wheat markets associated with Russia's plans to heavily tax grain exports resulted in sharper declines in other states, including NSW and Victoria.
Demand by container exporters offered support for sorghum prices into southern Queensland markets. Sorghum bids were up $7 for the week to $327 into the Darling Downs.
Grain exports from Australia surged in December as new crop supplies flowed into overseas markets. Australia exported more than 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and nearly 1mt of barley, making it the biggest export month in several years. Combined wheat, barley and canola months exceeded 3.6mt in December, the most since May 2017.
China was the single largest wheat destination, taking more than 800,000 tonnes in December, nearly doubling its previous largest monthly total set back into 2014. Large monthly shipments were also reported into South East Asia including Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Saudi Arabia was the largest barley destination followed by Thailand and Vietnam.
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