Harvest is now progressing well around the Narrabri district with the majority of faba beans and barley harvested. Most producers are now harvesting canola, bread wheat, durum & chickpeas. We anticipate that harvest is 10 to 14 days earlier than normal and on a similar timeline to last year’s dry season. Whilst most producers are generally pleased with yields considering the dry season, there are still many crops that have disappointed. Faba beans were generally disappointing and prices have fallen, initially reaching around $420/mt delivered to Narrabri, but now at $400/mt.
Barley is best priced ex-farm for both feed & malt. Current prices are $245/mt delivered Liverpool Plains, and $280/mt delivered Darling Downs. Malt barley is $335 delivered Brisbane, adding a significant premium to the bulk system. Protein wheat has certainly been at a premium delivered to Narrabri packers, with APH1 reaching $325/mt, although this week it was back to $316/mt.
Canola was valued earlier in the season at $500/mt ex-farm around Narrabri on a hectare basis, but this week it’s around $420/mt ex-farm, except for a “prompt short” which has seen canola fetch $440/mt ex-farm to go into Newcastle for crushing. Producers should certainly be selling in to this market if they have 42% oil or better, otherwise, if they have minimum 38% oil, they should be looking at $417 ex-farm – flat priced on oil as their AOF discounts will make them worse off. There are a number of canola buyers in the market this season and it’s refreshing to see some competition for canola outside the track market.
Chickpeas have settled well back from contract highs coming into harvest and are now around $410 delivered Narrabri. Durum wheat is a shining light in terms of prices. DR1 is currently bid around $485/mt Newcastle port, with buyers willing to book reasonable offers from producers. This equates to $445/mt delivered Narrabri, which is a $135/mt premium over it’s bread wheat equivalent APH2. Last year durum was trading around parity with bread wheat, but the price is being driven up by buyer competition with a number of Multi National buyers looking to purchase durum this season, who are not normally in the durum market.