Fact of the Day – World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on the 5thof December. The reasoning is for a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of all soil resources.

No substantial rain has occurred in the last week, though there has been increasingly warmer and windier days, with the next week to be not so different. So far we have escaped a very warm November looking back on last years, though now December is here, above 35 degrees are looking to be the norm until the New Year, at least. With summer set to be no different heat wise, the already lack of rain around the area, specifically the Downs is being reflected through the current Sorghum prices. Ex-farm pricing for the Moree/Goondi area has been floating at the $340-350 level, though for growers on the Plains, the $380-$385 in to Newcastle is also just as appealing. Marketing of new crop is quite delicate at the moment considering the production uncertainty and the tough January and February we could potentially face.

The summit over the weekend in Buenos Aires was stirring, but did not resolve as much as we had hoped, especially on the topic of tariffs. Specifically touching on Chinese and US relations, the back and forward of taxing has looked to have stopped with the leaders looking to resolve the mess in a proposed 90 day window. The whole scenario was a bit anti climatic, but China has agreed to purchase an important amount of US products, with agriculture goods commencing immediately. This is to reduce the current trade imbalance. None the less, it is positive progress for getting the relationship back on track heading in to 2019.

As stated last week, overseas demand has subsided on buying both our old and new crop Chickpeas. Bangladesh still have wavering demand, and with Pakistan’s currency being devalued by about 5%, this has altered their current margins and they will struggle to put forward  bids as competitive as we are seeing now. Weather in India and Pakistan is dire looking upon their prime growing regions. Pakistan is more crucial, as December outlook is very bleak rain wise. Most buyers out of warehousing and certain sites have withheld themselves from the market this week until there is increased buying interest overseas. Container packers are keeping their bids more competitive for now as boxes and trains still are needing to be filled. This has been reflected in this week’s market prices with new peas bid Narrabri $880/mt, old at $830/mt, and the Downs $900/mt for a January delivery. Buying interest around most sites is also decreasing as we head in to the festive season.

Cotton futures have made positive gains day on day this week, though the advances have not been as impressive as we are currently hoping for. With trade talks still in limbo with the US and China, we wait anxiously on the outcome and how it will impact the market and more importantly, our bale prices here at home. Hot and windy conditions continue across the main growing regions with a harsh December looking to take incoming plants to task. Prices today for seasons ahead now stand at 2019 $6212020 $590 and $535/bale for 2021 and 2022 (at time of writing).

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