Rain continues to frustrate harvest

Rain continues to frustrate harvest

ANALYSIS
Agribusiness
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Stormy weather continues to frustrate winter crop harvest across Queensland.

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Stormy weather continues to frustrate winter crop harvest across Queensland and more broadly across eastern Australia.

Weekend storm activity unleashed heavy rain across the Darling Downs, western Downs and south to Goondiwindi. Farmers had already harvested most of the wheat and barley crops around Goondiwindi and the western Downs but many crops through the inner Downs were still to be cut.

Rainfalls totals were patchy ranging from 25mm with many areas receiving 50-60mm. Southwood received 92mm on Sunday with 50-60mm around Goondiwindi. Falls were lighter to the west of Goondiwindi with Boomi and Mungindi seeing 10-15mm.

Intense storms also dumped upwards of 50mm in a line from Miles, through Chinchilla, Dalby and through much of the inner Downs, extending into the Lockyer Valley.

Unsettled weather is forecast to continue with the chance of more heavy storms later in the week. Humid conditions will continue this week with another round of general storms expected on Thursday.

Northern NSW also received a general 30-80mm rain on the weekend which is expected to see further quality downgrading on unharvested crops.

Last week's mostly dry weather allowed many farmers to wrap up the bulk of harvest before the weekend storms.

GrainCorp received 143,250 tonnes of grain into its Queensland storage network in the week to November 22, taking the total harvest deliveries above 1.5 million tonnes.

It was a similar situation in NSW where GrainCorp received move that 1.1mt of grain deliveries in the past week. It was comfortably the biggest week so far, in what's shaping up be a difficult harvest.

Grain quality has been holding up reasonably well, with less than expected quality downgrading so far, although the weekend rain is seen as the final straw for unharvested crops around Moree, Narrabri, and Gunnedah.

Domestic grain markets continued to strengthen as global wheat markets climb aided by uncertainty over the quality of the Australian wheat harvest.

ASX wheat futures have jumped more than $50 a tonne in the past four weeks in a mix of global strong prices and traders trying to manage quality risks. At the same time, farmer selling has stalled with the quality uncertainty.

However, the headline APW price only tells part of the story. Quality premiums for Hard and APH wheat above the base APW have surged higher in recent weeks while ASW, GP and feed wheat prices have plummeted.

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