AgVantage Commodities Market Report 11/07/2019


Fact of the Day – Elephants are the only land mammals that cannot jump. Unlike all other mammals on earth, Elephants do not have kneecaps. Therefore, they are unable to bend their legs and acquire the needed propulsion to leave the ground.

With welcomed falls scattered across the eastern states, we look to July and August forecasts to understand what can keep the already struggling season going. Throughout the Central West up to Southern Queensland, the falls didn’t vary much over the 20mm mark, most receiving between 5-15mm over Monday. SA and Victoria did not experience much moisture, though over in the west, they had significant falls to keep crop development more that rampant. Overseas, the US markets have been fairly subdued across the board, mainly due to a slow end to last week with their public holiday, and very steady trading to start this week. The USDA report is due out this week, it looks to say much of the same regarding good to excellent seasons thus far in Europe and Russia, as well as improved conditions across the prime growing US states.

Chickpea supply and demand remains very quiet and looks to continue this way in to 2020 if not longer, unless India does a complete backflip on their tariffs (we have more chance of winning the cricket). Hay/Straw continues to be sought after, but at this stage you have more chance of getting rain than finding any roughage about. The feed grain markets will continue to focus on what is happening in the south and west, as the easts stockpiles continue to be carted in land week after week, month after month.

Cotton has been dismal the last 3 months to say the least, and this week really hasn’t been too different with sharp losses. “The immediate cause, or maybe merely a catalyst, was perhaps a tropical disturbance that might possibly deliver some rain to dry Texas cotton regions.  Weather forecasters are wary because that is just one possible path among many for a disturbance that is yet to gather into a storm (or worse)” (CBA, 2019). Updated USDA reports also will help give the market a better perspective on global production. Bale prices today are bid for 2019 at $537, 2020 $555 and 2021 $525.

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 23/05/2019


The US and China continue their back and forward, and frankly the rest of the world is growing very tired of it all. Even though there’s very important topics at hand, such as national security, there needs to be some accountability for a  more prompt fix in the coming weeks rather than months. The election here at home saw the Liberals hold on to government, which doesn’t change too much for now. Though we can hope that the government will continue to alleviate pressure on those in rural and remote areas, if not by even more as not much has changed.

On the domestic grains front, demand is still high for feed, yet no real change on the market side. Protein meals, soybean hulls and PKE continue to be sought after to keep nutrition levels up among herds. Sorghum has found recent gains, up about $10-15 in the last week which brought a few tonnes around the area forward. New crop prices have started to trickle out the last few days, though it is still early, especially when taking in to account what has been received and what is forecasted rain wise.

Chickpea market is fluttering but still not much activity to get everyone talking. There is demand regardless, especially if growers were looking to leak a few loads out before the end of financial year.

Cotton has made modest gains, yet still at the sub $600 level for the 2019 season. Most growers have finished stripping or are coming very close to the end, of what has been a tough summer crop right off the back of a tougher winter crop.


AgVantage Commodities Market Report 16/05/2019


Fact of the Day – Forty years ago, Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell took an entirely different kind of “giant leap for mankind,” playing sports on the lunar surface. Shepard famously hit golf balls with a modified six-iron, and Mitchell threw a javelin.

Planting has been the word of the week, growers are looking to take advantage of recent moisture around the area, as well as what’s forecasted for the remainder of the month. For some on the Liverpool Plains, they have received quite the abundance of the rain in recent months, this gives them a considerable cushion to get seed in the ground and hold on through what is predicted to be another dry winter. Further north around the Narrabri and Moree area, planting continues, though there needs to be a considerable amount of rain fall to build on the scattered showers from the last few weeks. Stateside, the winter crop looks to be underway with growth starting to head, but still not promising looking back over recent seasons. How their spring eventuates is critical to the development of their planted hectares and if some positive news can come from their already lacklustre 2018.

Chickpeas have had some movement this week, though this is purely on the back of our dollar taking a hit due to the top dogs playing hard ball. Demand is still low across the globe, especially now during Ramadan. Though with a slight drop in the AUD, we have seen bids eventuate, it isn’t exciting news, but at least there is some activity in the market. How the next few months play out it is hard to say, though with current intel, it looks like a slow boat ride in to 2020.

Chickpea #1 Market



Darling Downs (Delivered)



Goondiwindi Warehousing



Narrabri (Delivered)



Bengalala Warehousing



Cotton has taken more than a tumble this week, predominantly at the twittering thumbs of President Trump. The two super powers have gone back and forward over the last week throwing higher tariffs round like a frisbee, and looking back, there has been no real change from where this stood at the end of 2018. Regardless of the two leaders seeing who can beat their chest more, they still have let the world know both sides plan to reach an agreement, and this looks to continue with their talks this week in Osaka, and the G20 summit next month. Politics and trade aside, 2019 bale prices at home have still dropped by $60/bale in the last fortnight. Timing could have been worse, luckily majority of growers have already contracted their balance, but it is still a worrying sign if this war continues. Bale prices have reflected cotton falling off a cliff for both current and seasons ahead. 2019 $5702020 $560 and 2021 $510 (at time of writing).

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 9/05/2019


Fact of the Day – Dalmatians are perhaps best known for their role as fire-fighting apparatus escorts and firehouse mascots. Since Dalmatians and horses are very compatible, the dogs were easily trained to run in front of the carriages to help clear a path and quickly guide the horses and firefighters to the fires.

The last week has been one of the more positive weeks the region has faced in recent months. The weekend brought moderate to heavy rainfall, along with a welcomed cold snap (safe to say the 6-month long season of summer is behind us). Temperatures since the recent rains have not exceeded 25 degrees, with the nights dropping well in to single digits also. Across NNSW, the Liverpool plains received 40-60mm, Narrabri to Moree 25-50mm and the western areas of Walgett and Bourke enjoying 30-55mm. As stated in last weeks comment, “there are many banking on this (rain) with growers planting furiously over the last few days”, this rain could not have been timelier for a positive foundation. Now, we just need the cooler temperatures and heavier falls to continue over the next 3-4 months for a season we are reasonably content with. New crop (19/20) prices are bid at $335/mt for SFW1 and $330 for F1 delivered Darling Downs Jan/Feb. Chickpeas continue their break from making headlines.

On a trade point of view, President Trump is not doing us any favours in the way his negotiating methods are being taken by China. His recent Tweets on new import tariffs have not fallen kindly on China’s ears, and they have retaliated by cutting this weeks talks short and slowing the process down even more. As CBA’s commodities expert Tobin Gorey said, “Both cannot hope to get by without the other”, therefore a deal is vital, but the timeframe is anything but. Bale prices have reflected this trade news this week and today have again softened for current cotton and seasons ahead, 2019 $6002020 $595 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 2/05/2019


Fact of the Day – Hummingbirds are incredible flyers, the ruby-throated hummingbird beating its wings 80 times every second. These tiny birds can fly forwards, hover, and are the only known birds to fly backwards as well.

Scattered showers arrived early Wednesday morning across the North West region, though it was only enough to dampen the footpath. The day most are watching is Friday, there is forecasted rain of around 15-30mm, and there are many banking on this with growers planting over the last few days. Although very minimal and nowhere near enough, it will still add to previous weather received over late March and April. In international news, without sounding like a broken record, officials in the US still suggest China talks are going well. Although they continue to be pushed further and further down the calendar, the impatience of both parties is continuing to heighten, along with bluffs of just ceasing negotiations immediately. The AUD stands at $0.705, it has been steady on the back of the reserve bank’s recent predictions and as well the upcoming Federal Election.

Chickpea bids have emerged after another long hiatus, though buying interest is still only very minimal, and prices are nowhere near growers current targets. 17/18 crop sits at $660 on the Downs and $640 in the Namoi sites, where 18/19 season is bid at a $60/mt premium. This grabs some attention, though still after this long of storing peas, sellers are much more inclined to keep holding until the market cracks with any promising activity… (not looking to be anytime soon). Feed markets have softened over the past few weeks. With Wheat, Barley and Sorghum staying all relative, prices have lulled by about $10-12/mt. There still remains a certain amount of stock around on the west coast, though if they also do not receive any rain ahead of this winter crop, stocks will again become extremely tight and pricey heading in to 2020. Nothing too exciting on the cotton front, futures have sightly slipped away this week as trade talks continue to become more and more spread out. Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019$6252020 $606 and 2021 $555 (at time of writing).

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 18/04/2019


Fact of the Day – On Monday Tiger Woods won his 5th green jacket at the US Masters in Augusta. This victory comes 14 years after his last and 4th Masters triumph, with Woods battling both on and off the course issues over the last decade. With this win, Tiger confirmed again he is one of the best to ever play the game, along with earning one of the greatest ever comebacks in sports history.

No rain for April has arrived yet, with the forecast not predicting any falls till at least mid to late May. The current conditions around the region are still extremely poor, though some growers were lucky enough to get in some seed off the back of recent rain we had in late March. For now the temperatures have cooled as we approach Easter, though the dire need for more moisture could not be more emphasised in regards to the upcoming winter season. Abroad, eastern European countries are holding up the global supply for now, as US planting schedules seem to be significantly behind the pace of previous seasons. The next 6 months look to be quite tough regardless of what hemisphere you are based, though for the Australian east coast, it’s the fact that one bad season has now come off the back of at least 3-5 bad seasons.

On the pulse front, there is no real news heading at least out until about  June, though this could also stretch even further throughout the year. With India doing their own thing, the global demand is just not high enough to warrant pricing for Chickpeas here at home to lift. For now delivered prices sit indicatively at $630/mt for Wee Waa/Goondi for 18/19 crop, and a discount of $40/mt less for 17/18 peas. The main point to take from this is that at least bids and market interest is becoming a little more frequent once again. Feed grains continue to stay firm with demand not slowing down heading in to continued dry times.

 Cotton futures fell sharply on Friday, but since have been making good head way back to the previous levels we have seen the last month. There is still the continued uncertainty of what is occurring abroad via trade deals, though here at home, bale quality is slipping quite a bit considering the harsh season faced by all. Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $6302020 $600 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).


Have a nice Easter break

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 12/04/2019


Fact of the Day: It took Apollo 11, that’s the spaceship that carried Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969, 4 days 6 hours and 45 minutes to get to the moon. 

March ended with more rain than first expected, though this month isn’t looking too promising in the precipitation department. Border regions again look to have a great starting point for the season ahead, though the optimism begins to fade the more south you travel. As the dry winter looms, more and more vessels are landing as well as en route to the east coast from the west to relieve the northern and southern market zones in need of suppl. Newcastle and Brisbane ports are taking in bulk loads of barley and feed wheat, along with other protein meals and feed supplements also being stock piled. Pulses have struck some interest on the buying side with reports of the odd order heading abroad; though for now, prices remain too dismal for both old and new crop for growers to think about selling. Where the market is moving now is harder to read than first anticipated, but as long as India is out of the market, it gives Australian peas very little wiggle room to be exported to the international market.

Cotton has kept its positivity in regards to bale prices this week with merchant bids exceeding the $640 level. The main contributing factors still remain as the US – China trade talks and weather concerns across prime growing areas here at home and abroad. The trade negotiations appear to be making traction, though it seems neither side knows exactly what is going on or where they stand, hence the constant push back of an end date (now from March out to June). Last year the main point was that China would import a large degree of agri-commodities as part of the trade deal, though this is yet to fully blossom.  On Tuesday the US futures had a slight tumble which forces July contracts much lower, this in return is where we have watched physical cotton bales priced $10 lower than where they stood Monday. Prices today are priced at 2019 $630, 2020 $610 and 2021 at $550. The AUD opened today at $0.713 with little change from earlier in the week.

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 5/04/2019


Another great fall came across NNSW and SQ over the weekend. Falls ranged from 25-125mm depending on location. The massive drops seem to be scattered around the Liverpool plains, though the sheer amount was too much to quick to gain the most benefit of the soaking. Narrabri and surroundings ranged between 45-60 which is a nice buffer on the back of recent falls, though there will need to be some severe follow up to move in a positive direction. The border regions have been the most profitable out of March/April rain, with Goondiwindi and close by areas having received about 6-8 inches over the last fortnight, this gives the area a fantastic start to what still looks like a considerably dry winter. None the less, it is a starting platform for the season ahead and a nice change of scenery if anything.

Feed grain prices softened after the recent rain, though by not much as there is still high demand for the months out till the next winter crop is harvested. Chickpea bids have surfaced here and there, but mainly for 17/18 crop, and prices are not at all appealing enough to comprehend.

Cotton, along with the rain have been the good news stories over the last week to ten days. Futures have held their own, and with demand creeping up due to a significantly smaller Australian season, prices are comfortably at the $630 level. Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $632, 2020 $610 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 21/03/2019


Fact of the Day – Today is the autumn equinox, this marks the vernal equinox for those in the southern hemisphere. During the equinoxes, the day and night length are equal all around the world. The equinox occurs at the same time regardless of where someone is located.

The weekend just gone has brought a fair chunk of rain for some growers around NNSW and SQ. Reports of falls between 30mm-250mm over the weekend between Narrabri and the border have been a welcome change of scenery and we have reclaimed a bit of optimism for the hopes of the season ahead. Obviously, this cannot be a one-off event, that amount of rain will near need to be a fortnightly occurrence for the next few months. Though, recent reports from the bureau show that there is now an increased alert for the outlook on El Nino, thus giving the already struggling climate a theoretical kick in the head. How the next few weeks to months pan out is really based on a flip of the coin, though for now it still looks bleak.

We are now stampeding towards April and the feed markets are holding their own as demand continues for those needing cover over winter. Bids are steady with sorghum still priced at the $350/mt level ex-farm around the Narrabri and northern areas. Protein meals and roughage are also sought after on a prompt basis. These additives are working as great substitutes for stock nutrition and fibre, but also works out to be a little more economical for those working on their price to value rationing. Pulses are yet to be commented on this year, they say “no news is good news”, though at this point we could all do with a little more insight and news in to where overseas demand is heading. 

Cotton has had a promising week. The futures have been firm with any losses being only minor. We saw a slight hesitation from the market as US-China negotiations look to drag out longer, though this seemed to be brief as the trade put it to the side and kept on with daily business. Gins are beginning to get in to full swing around the area, with picking continuing throughout border regions heading south to Moree. With production uncertainty a worry, along with the risk of forward selling, it is still promising to be above the $600 level for now.Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $6252020 $605 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).

AgVantage Commodities Market Report 14/03/2019


Fact of the Day – The Coca-Cola brand is worth an estimated $74 billion USD, more than Budweiser, Pepsi, Starbucks and Red Bull combined.

The Chicago board of trade futures had quite a surprising day of movement. Reports state, the CBOT “had their largest single day rally in around 8 months, with unconfirmed rumours of a large purchase of US wheat driving these gains”. On the back of this, promising weather reports throughout the US, Europe and some eastern bloc countries show they are expected to receive more promising falls as soil moisture continues to build. The greenback drifted back over the last few days, with the AUD firming and standing at $0.708 today. Politics seem to be the only changing news as of late as leaders continue to battle over trade, Brexit and even a NSW state election in the coming weeks.

With scattered showers and rolling storms the only change in recent times on the weather front, we are faced with what looks to be another dry and warm winter. Over the last 2 to 3 weeks, most feed grains have softened, which mainly has been a little easier on current lot feeders and graziers as prices have been more than costly over the last few 6 months. As conditions deteriorate, the prevalence of protein meals (PKE, canola and soybean meal) is increasing by the day. These substitutions, along with hay and grains is keeping nutrition for stock at the needed levels to keep them from losing condition and value. Though, as more livestock are set for sale in coming weeks, the market follows by continuing to tumble, showing cattle farmers don’t see any change to help them through winter. Pulses have not changed in the past week, nor do we expect much movement till either India re-joins the market or increased demand post Ramadan. 

Cotton traded highly early in the week, this looked to be brought on by positive trade negotiations between the US and China, as US cotton appears to be able to prosper more from this news. Picking continues around SQ and NNSW as reports on yields are yet to trickle down the grapevine, though as more is stripped around the area we should gain a better grasp of how this seasons production will fare. Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $6222020 $600 and2021 $545(at time of writing).

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