Fact of the Day – With news of his recovery, the man himself Michael Schumacher is the only driver to ever win seven F1Championships, five of which he won consecutively. According to the official Formula One website, Schumacher was “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen” at the time of his retirement from the sport.

2019 has picked up exactly where 2018 left off, hot, dry and windy, the mercury is also forecasted to sit above 36 degrees for at least the next 10 days. The heat will not so much affect the sorghum looking to come off this month, but more the areas that were planted over the late November/December period. Rain obviously isn’t imminent and as you drive around, dryland cotton and sorghum seem to be putting up their last stand in this heated fight. Domestic grain demand is still very much rampant as buyers looking now for coverage through to April, prices also have firmed with port delays in the west holding up shipments in to Brisbane, thus creating a slight short of feed grains around the Darling Downs Market zone. International news has been quite dormant over the last three weeks, this can be put down to market closures, festive period and as well the elephant sitting in the states, the US government shutdown. The “Mexican standoff” and shutdown looks to end soon, though US-China talks are also underway, with president Trump tweeting earlier this week “Talks with China are going very well” so this could see a well needed market spike to get the year back on track.

Prompt sorghum for January and February is very much a sellers’ market, as buyers look to secure tonnes immediately. Delivered in to Brisbane/Downs prices sit at $370/$355 with ex-farm bids estimated at $330-$340 dependant on location around the Moree and Goondiwindi areas. Feed wheat is comfortably sitting at $445 XF Narrabri north, with shorts evident coming out of 2018 and F1 barley is $25-35/mt lower than wheat. Chickpeas are still quiet, and January has always been traditionally calm before the buying storm. With the sub-continent and surrounding countries crops not faring well either, we expect to see heightened demand come Feb/March. I do believe the next 4-6 weeks will be telling as the Islamic nations look to stockpile before their fasting (Ramadan) at the beginning of May, as well as their yields nowhere near meeting expectations. Hopefully 2019 brings positive light to a pulse market that has been dark for near 18 months. For now, the Downs market zone is bid at $890 for new crop and Narrabri $875/mt.

Cotton is and has been quite dismal to say the least to start the new year, prices here at home have dropped away by about $25/bale since Christmas. America’s government troubles haven’t been helping, though as said previously, more trade talks can only be beneficial… well here’s hoping! Irrigated cotton continues to fair well, though dryland crops that already took a sand blasting last month are looking to continue deteriorating rapidly with no drink in sight. Prices today for seasons ahead now stand at 2019 $590 and 2020 $580 (at time of writing).

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