Fact of the Day – The largest ever attendance for the Melbourne Cup was in 2003, when more than 122,737 people attended to watch Makybe Diva win her first of three Melbourne Cups.

With the races that stops a nation doing exactly that for another year, there were still headers powering through what is left of the northern New South Wales 2017/18 winter crop. Looking over the progression of harvest this season, we feel that about 85% of the cereal grains have been stripped from the Darling Downs south to the Moree and Narrabri region. With most now focussed on the remaining Chickpeas, roughly 50% of the pulse crop has been harvested around the North West with the majority of western growers having a very disappointing yielding season. Monday brought quite an aggressive weather event through the North West and Liverpool Plains with many growers copping golf ball sized hail and strong winds. From early reports it seems the storm was more of an inconvenience than anything else damage wise. The market seems to be quite steady for now with the US Dept. of Ag WASDE report due out later today.

On a quality point of view across Southern Queensland and NNSW, we have generally seen a large amount of high protein Wheat coming through the receival sites. The average protein percentage would be around thirteen and higher with most tonnage falling in to the APH1/2 specifications. Low screenings have also been quite prevalent with it being a rarity to find parcels teetering above 5%. With the bulk of Wheat flowing in to the export market, we are starting to see some shorts in regards to domestic demand, this is also being reflected in pricing for APW and SFW grades. F1 Barley has been coming off fairly well also with many only having trouble with the yield quantity for now. Many growers are quite proud to be owners of Barley tonnes and look to hold for the short term. Barley in to the Downs is at the $315 mark delivered November with a Narrabri delivery priced at $280/mt. With the Sorghum planted throughout the past couple of weeks, even though there was an abundance put in the ground we will still need some strong follow up rain over the next 6 weeks to cement the estimates of a two million tonne crop come the new year.

We do realise we sound like a broken record on the topic of Faba Beans, though there is still demand, especially for old crop moving in to the December and January period. As stated in previous weeks, with such a low quantity season, many buyers still are very interested in the beans still yet to be shifted out of storage. Ex-Farm tonnage still trading at $250 subject to location for domestic demand and $300 for new crop delivered in to the packers in Narrabri.

The Chickpea market has been showing signs of strength over the last few days, whilst bids remain sub $800 around Narrabri, AgVantage is achieving better prices with offers. The Darling Downs has also been bid around $790 to $800 delivered, but we have seen it trade at $830 for prompt delivery. We are seeing a bit more strength in demand from buyers as many growers have stored their tonnage and look to see where the market stands over the next two months. We still remain with last week’s advisement of “not looking to sell unless there is an eight at the beginning, thus storing on farm and warehousing is a viable option as yield is much lower than first estimated”. Quality seems to have been quite good from the border south to the Narrabri growing zone. In the next two weeks we expect the remaining peas to be coming off and harvest really to be finished up for another year come the end of the month.

The Cotton futures have fallen just slightly over night though still very placid as it awaits the WASDE report this week which will evaluate the freeze damage faced over the main Cotton producing areas. The slight dip in futures have put bale prices for 2018 at the $505 mark and 2019 at $500. The USD has strengthened over the past few days of trade and is set to break the mark for a three month high. The AUD dollars remains barely unchanged for the day at just over $0.765 (At time of writing).

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