April has seen some swings in domestic markets and domestic feed grains prices seemed to peak around the week of 7th April. SFW delivered Brisbane has been as high as $385/mt and delivered Downs at $375. Today, these values are closer to $377 BNE and $370 Downs. Sorghum delivered Brisbane topped around $352/mt and finished the month (after a steep decline in the last two days) at $337/mt. Sorghum delivered into Newcastle has quietened off in demand from a number of buyers as commitments have been filled. Demand still remains strong in the north for all feed grains and depending on location of grain, it can work into a number of homes. Sorghum harvest continues on the Plains and there will be some large areas of late sorghum again this year and most likely require drying down of grain.
Cotton picking continues across the region with more of an idea of quality now that gin runs are being made. In general, dryland crops have experienced short staple length and irregular short fibre index. Yields have been affected due to the tough season and rain nearing ripeness. Most growers are informing us that their yields are lower than expected. This month, prices have ranged from $500-525/bale but have not below $500. Due to the large inverse from July through to December, most merchants are discounting cotton delivered post-June delivery.
As a general update on planting activity and winter cropping intentions across the region, it appears that it is a mixed bag of activity. Fabas in the north are pretty much planted, as is canola. We have been contracting canola on a hectare basis across the region during April. For anyone interested in discussing these, please contact us in the AgVantage office.
A lot of growers are telling us that they will require a planting rain before getting any cereals in the ground this season as the moisture they had previously is getting away from them. Moisture levels are varied across the region and it’s not uncommon to hear that one farmer has a ‘good’ moisture profile while 15k down the road there is minimal moisture and the risk of no crop being planted. Of course there are other regions that still have a long way to go and in need of inches of rain to think about getting a crop in.
Old crop chickpea demand remains fairly flat with limited homes. NNSW homes are hard to come by and the majority of the homes are delivered Downs, with June the main delivery period. Values this month have fluctuated around $470-475/mt delivered. We are speaking to growers daily who have old crop peas remaining on farm and are waiting on a spike before selling more. At this stage, we are unsure as to whether this will actually happen before offshore consumers switch to new crop pricing. Of course with pulses, anything is possible.
April 2014 Month End News Articles
The wheat and corn markets consolidated overnight following the rally last week on the back of increased tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The release of crop conditions after the close today had the market guessing, resulting in a mostly unchanged close, despite trading an 18c/bushel range for wheat,and a 7c/bushel range for corn. The winter wheat crop tour is currently underway across the Midwest US, and will hopefully shed some more light on yield expectations of both drought and possible frost affected crops over the next few days. Wheat crop conditions, dropped 1% to 33% Good-Excellent, whilst corn plantings jumped up to 19% over the course of the week, but remains well behind the 5 year average of 28%. The International Grains Council also released a report late last week which placed world production of wheat at 697mmt and corn at 950mmt, both down significantly from the record productions of 2013, which has been seen as supportive for prices. The soybean market has put on close to 40c/bushel since last week for prompt transactions, on the back of dry equatorial conditions putting pressure on Palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia, whilst talk of soybeans picking up additional area due to the slower start to corn planting is putting some pressure on new crop futures.
The cotton market lost ground overnight, following a 5thstraight attempt to try and breach the resistance level of 93.52 USc/lb. The invert to July has dropped back to 949 points, with planting pace in the US reported at 13% against a 5 year average of 18%, continued drought conditions in West Texas, and a decrease in Chinese production helping to support the new crop contracts and close the gap.
The dollar has slipped to the bottom of its recent price range, in the 0.92’s on the back of improvement in the US Pending Home sales data for the first quarter, and concern around the continued Black Sea conflict which has seen the US dollar rise. The US Federal Reserve meeting, non-farm payroll are the big ticket items for the rest of the week.
Local prices for wheat and barley are mostly unchanged from last week, while sorghum is a little softer. New crop prices for wheat and barley are remaining firm with the domestic focus in Brisbane and the north of the Newcastle port zones still under pressure from a far from assured winter crop planting. Time is on the side of the grower at this stage, but another good rainfall event is needed soon. The window for planting Faba’s and Canola is closing rather quickly in the north, and we still have interest in buying these with both fixed tonnage and hectare contracts.
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour.
Before she says a word, Bob says, ‘I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.’
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob.
After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ‘Who was that?’
‘It was Bob the next door neighbour,’ she replies.
‘Great,’ the husband says, ‘did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?’
Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders, in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.