Fact of the Day – Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on earth. It is also considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm, along the coast and far less inland.
This time next week we will be in to November, and for now, it’s not looking to be another cool spring month. Temperatures are already hitting the mid-thirties, though for now it isn’t too stressful considering the scattered falls we have had as of late ranging from the central west up to the Downs. For now we stand in the twilight zone in regards to summer crops. Sorghum is rallying and softening day by day, based on current moisture conditions and who is planting what, where and how much. Cotton planting is also underway, with most growers happy with their current soil profiles for the season ahead. Mungbeans are also looking to be an alternative for those considering to take advantage of recent falls.
Headers are now rolling in to paddocks to get a gauge on what quality and quantity is like after the last month of welcomed rain. From Moree south, there is not an abundance of Sorghum looking to be planted, as some areas just haven’t had what the border regions received rain wise. With the planting window closing heading in to November, those who choose to hold off will not look to plant till later in the year and try to bank on some later summer rain. As for how the Chicago trade is tracking, the futures have climbed overnight on the back of reports we may produce the lowest tonnes this season of our last ten. The next few weeks will be more than telling once there is more info on the southern cropping areas progression (Victoria, South Australia).
Early reports from growers getting in to their Faba beans are quite positive. It seems the beans are in great shape, it’s just a matter of foreign material and splits that are letting them down from the top grade, though feed Faba demand is still high, even if the beans are from either of the last 3 seasons. Grading may be an option for some, if chasing the export market of $750 for #1’s less twenty dollars for #2’s. Chickpeas continue their lacklustre form with the market softening more this week on both new and old crop. On an international demand point of view, Bangladesh are our only suitors and they know this and are playing the game accordingly. Pakistan is buying straight out of Africa for about a $70 discount, Nepal are not in the market and the sub-continent still are keeping to themselves domestically. For now both markets are quiet, and the $800 levels for new crop being bid are looking even more appealing when taking in to account how the last twelve months have served us.
Cotton has had a rollercoaster of a week so far, prices from last week to now have moved from $625 to $645 in just a few days of trading. The factors that have made most of the impact are Hurricane Michael that is over the southern states, and current rain around Texas, forcing picking to slow down and heightening quality concern. Prices today for seasons ahead now stand at 2019 $636, 2020 $595 and $540/bale for 2021 and 2022 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – Earlier this week Paul Allen passed away, Allen was the co-founder of Microsoft, an American business magnate and philanthropist. He owned the NFL’s Super Bowl champions, Seattle Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. Allen also spent a lot of time on his 414-foot yacht worth $200 million equipped with a recording studio, two helipads, two submarines run by a crew of 60 and oh so much more.
Even though the humidity is not a welcome change, the rain definitely is. Now it’s not the 500ml that the east coast got over the last 10 days, but it is certainly a start. The falls have been scattered, though the gap between them is what’s decreasing, with forecasted drops for the rest of the week. Depending on quantity, this will affect some harvest plans, but for most it is a more than welcome to finish off the later planted crops and ahead of current summer plantings. The overseas market isn’t impacting our prices here at home by too much, all demand still is looking to be domestic for the time being.
Sorghum is where most are showing considerable interest at the moment. With the on and off rain alongside the planting period now upon us, both traders and growers are interested to see where markets sit themselves in the coming weeks. New crop Sorghum is bid for March, April and May at $370 delivered Downs and XF LPP, Newcastle track is at $390. For now we should see a solid plant around the Southern Downs, border regions in NSW and the Liverpool Plains weather permitting, though whilst China aren’t showing too much interest, the demand will stay at home for graziers and lot feeders. Old crop is firm at $420 delivered in to the Downs market zone. Whilst most grains for stock feed have been quite exuberant understandably, new and innovative alternatives are being sourced to ease the pressure on finances. Almond hulls, palm kernel expeller, straws, hay and other by-products of traditional feed have been used and still holding their own in regards to nutritional value and accessibility as cheaper substitutes.
Pulses are becoming of more interest heading in to the November period as more and more reports trickle through the grapevine on current yields and quality. Obviously the fresher and lighter Chickpeas are sought after at a premium, though when the new crop influx starts to settle or finish, there is still going to be a need for peas regardless. We expect old crop to take the back seat for now and not move much until the new year though, we must remember at any moment India could come back in to the market and drive our prices north (here’s hoping). For now we have old crop set at $740 Narrabri and $770 Downs, with 18/19 crop holding strong just above the $805 mark. Fabas will continue to be chased for export and stock feed regardless of the season. Recent trades indicate feed Fabas at $620-30 (depending location) and new crop top grade beans at $750 Narrabri.
The recent rain is a fantastic sign heading in to planting for this year’s Cotton if it sticks around. Whether it be dry land or irrigated it is a positive start when looking back on the last 10 grim months. Prices today for seasons ahead now stand at 2019 $625, 2020 $593 and $535/bale for 2021 and 2022 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – On the weekend we saw Craig Lowndes win the great race (Bathurst 1000) for his 7th time, his second with co-driver Steven Richards. It was Lowndes’ last race around Mount Panorama as a full time driver, with him taking a secondary driver seat in 2019.
Russia still holds the headlines this week, both in and out of the octagon. Leaving UFC aside for now, the current word out of the superpower is that they are hustling and bustling to transfer grain to move ahead of any imposed deadlines placed on the industry by the government. How this plays out this month will be interesting as there is still a fair chunk of supply moving around the black sea region also. Rain is hitting the plains across the US which will only be helpful heading in to the New Year, along with the hurricane taking on Georgia and Alabama cotton areas in coming days. American weather is one to watch heading in to the backend of the week. The AUD came back on last week’s low, holding today above the $0.71 mark.
Summer like storms continue to swirl around the North West, with parts of the Hunter and Liverpool Plains receiving heavy falls. Harvest is just kicking in to gear around Queensland and south as all buyers are eager to see how they are tracking thus far. Some early reports look to show higher than anticipated moisture in cereals, but nothing too extreme as of yet and not too much trouble in regards to quality (Protein, Screenings, Test Weight). The next few weeks will be more than telling as majority of crops will be near all but stripped in the next month or so. Prices for now, are all over the shop to a certain degree, we are currently in a state of limbo where old crop and new crop are just about to pass one another, but for now it’s difficult to get your hands on either price respective. With the week almost done, we are seeing the market soften over all grain markets, just as these forecasted showers with not much in them make their way around the North West and Southern Downs.
Chickpeas have not moved too far from their recent mark. Current stock is priced at $750 Narrabri and $760 Downs, where new crop is bid at $805-810 for either of said market zones. The next few months could be very quiet for old crop peas, as demand for fresh lighter (colour and weight) chickpeas are sought after more abroad. With India still playing their own game, we rely solely on Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan to keep our market alive. Whilst it does fluctuate prices somewhat, it is nowhere near what India traditionally would require and thus why our dollar per tonne is lower than on recent seasons. Quality this season may be a problem further north with GrainCorp bringing in a receival standard for “CHKPX”, a grade established for frosted grain. Where quality lies for now heading south is unsure but we can be sure this year’s crop will a tough pod to split for some.
Cotton futures prices dropped slightly mid-week with a late climb on the back of the US weather. Hurricane Michael is heading south and looks to make its way through the southern states. The development of these plants are quite decent, so any damage will directly affect the market as supply is already on the tight side. Here at home, there has been rain scattered across the regions, though a hot October already is “dampening” any intention of a good summer crop plant for now. Prices today for seasons ahead now stand at 2019 $615, 2020 $585 and $530/bale for 2021 and 2022 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – In light of the Roosters NRL Premiership win on Sunday, the focus without doubt, should be on Cooper Cronk. Since his debut in the 2004, Cronk has played in eight grand finals, winning a total of five premierships with the Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters.
October has arrived and is showing strong signs of skipping over spring and moving straight in to another brutal summer across NSW and Queensland. The mercury is already hitting the thirties a few times a week, which is now creating even more concern on how much of a positive outlook there is for a prosperous summer crop. Rain is forecasted for later on in the week, though from where the forecast is set, it’s not much to call home about or to batten down the hatches. Wheat production abroad is on track, though there is some concern with weather conditions putting a hold on planting across Eastern Europe. Russia is also playing their own game to slow down exports by minimising use of some of their logistic terminals. Though this shouldn’t have too much of an impact for now with supply still strong across the sea. Currency here at home dropped quite intensely based off the most recent RBA report, though it has helped competitiveness for spot prices. Today’s AUD opens at $0.718.
Even though the last year has been more than intense in regards to weather conditions (September was Australia’s driest on record) and market prices, October always brings activity no matter the scale. Around the region over the next few weeks we expect grain to be harvested and sorghum and cotton to be planted if possible. On harvest, many growers will be deciding between cutting for hay or stripping grain, it is purely dependant on where one can maximise value. Regardless of the option, there is still going to be continued demand for both well in to the New Year. Current crop chickpeas are becoming of less interest as new season is set to be stripped soon. As said previously we wait anxiously on yield and quality reports as soon as they trickle off farm. New crop still lingers about $800-$810 around the Downs and Narrabri market zones. As hard as it is to wait and see, this is how most of the market stands, from sorghum to pulses. How the next six to eight weeks play out will be how most buyers and sellers set themselves up heading in to next year.
Cotton has been more than quiet the last week with the market just easing off with trade wars, global supply and current weather conditions on a global scale all contributing. Most merchants have shut up their books for 2018 season now, with sole interest on the next four years ahead. Bale prices today are much softer, though there is not much selling interest currently due to such dire conditions and lack of water for purchase. For 2018, $585 2019, 610 2020$575 and $520/bale for 2021 and 2022 (at time of writing).