Fact of the Day – As of Monday, the New England Patriots claimed their 6th Super Bowl Championship in the last 18 years. The only two men to have been there for all of them since day 1 are Head Coach Bill Bellichek and Quarterback Tom Brady, whom is still playing on at a young age of 41.
As of this week, the USDA is running around like a headless chook attempting to assemble the necessary data to inform the rest of the world on current supply and demand estimates from the last month due to their absence. As President trump has now ended the government shutdown, this Friday evening will bring the conjoined report of the last two months, hopefully shedding some light on recent crop progression, sales and purchases as well as how trade talks are continuing between the two heavy weights. The US markets will be unsettled to end the week as they react to Trumps second state of the union address. From most aspects it was quite positive, even with democrats giving Trump and America a standing ovation for how they have progressed in the last 100 years. As I have said for many a month now, all eyes will stay focused on China and North Korea in angst of their next meeting in Vietnam later this month.
Sorghum still remains at the forefront of current demand across the board. Pricing is ever moving as more and more intel comes through touching on high screenings, low test weights and total crop yields. From the Narrabri area all the way to the border, ex-farm business is being booked at the $350/mt level, with premiums also going forward for prompt loads. Sorghum 2 is bid between $10-$20/mt less depending on specs as some buyers have more leniency on quality than others. The market is now watching closely to how the Liverpool Plains crop is progressing, early reports look bleak as the heat over the past 6 weeks has been unforgiving. Top grade sorghum will be chased hastily in an attempt to pull tonnes towards the Newcastle market zone, as well as the southern areas of NSW. Wheat and barley still are sought after, though the ever-climbing price and decreasing local stocks is only making times tougher across the eastern side of the country.
Chickpeas still are very quiet to kick off February. We do expect more activity in the coming weeks, especially from the smaller buyers whose crops are doing it tough (Pakistan, Bangladesh). The period of fasting (Ramadan) is a fortnight earlier this year, so here is hoping they look to replenish their inventory over the next 6-8 weeks to boost our market prices here at home.
Cotton futures have had about equal losses to gains over the last week coming in even. The shutdown has not helped in this regard though, with data to be released in coming days, this should alleviate a small degree on market uncertainty.Prices today for seasons ahead now stand at 2019 $590, 2020$590 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).