Fact of the Day – The NFL’s popularity is even more remarkable when you inspect the fare it has to offer each week on television. An average professional football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes, but if you tally up the time when the ball is in play, the action amounts to a mere 11 minutes, earning the star players upwards of $1.5 Million per game.

To start the week international markets were subdued as the US celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. day. Since the initial Trump/Jinping talks late last year, the respective economies as well as invested others, have been keeping a close eye on when possible purchases of US agri-commodities would occur.  There has been murmurs this week on wheat and cotton, though only time will tell on how this will affect world trades in coming days. Though it is also said that the US has declined an invitation from China for preparatory trade talks. Across the Bering sea, Russia is rumored to be taking a forward step on their domestic demand in a bid to establish better market parameters. The Aussie dollar dropped over night to $0.713 on the back of Chinese market uncertainty.

January’s only saving grace around NNSW and SQ has been the late evening summer storms. Even though temperatures still push the envelope at the 40-degree mark, some decent falls have been received to give the slightest encouragement to already struggling crops. Domestic users and exporters are itching to know more about early sorghum being harvested, as securing tonnes is crucial considering the minimal production across the eastern states. Pricing on the sorghum front remains firm, especially with the continued heat taking its toll on the later planted paddocks. For delivery $365 Downs, $380 Brisbane MZ and $385 Newcastle MZ are of continued interest. Though the domestic demand has seen ex-farm prices become more enticing also at $345 Narrabri/Moree area and $355-60 XF Liverpool plains for April. Test weight and yields continue to be a worry, though bigger concern is for later planted sorghum, as it just doesn’t seem possible for it to hold on for 2-3 more weeks of current conditions.

On a feed market note, there has been a continued increase in interest in niche alternatives for stock nutrition. Palm expeller, Lupins, Canola meal, Oats, Beans and Maize have all been sought to reduce the impact of high feed prices, but also to gain as much nutritional value as possible to maintain livestock quality in these dire times. Not too much to say on Chickpeas this week, traditionally January is a quiet time, and this year is no different. Pricing dropped to start 2019 by about $20-$25/mt sitting at $650, though we expect to see activity improve over the Feb/March period as reports continue to outline poor crops in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Middle east.

The government shutdown in the states has really slowed down the global economy on multiple fronts. When talking cotton, the closure of the government reduces how much global supply data the market has access to, generating a degree of uncertainty. Therefore, the sooner it ends, the sooner we possibly can see some positive changes. Crops here at home are under immense pressure from the weather producing relentless winds, hail storms, and heat to go hand in hand with irrigators possibly not having enough waters left to finish the season adequately. Prices today for seasons ahead now stand at 2019 $5902020 $590 and 2021 $550(at time of writing).

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