Overnight saw mixed results for futures with grains all posting gains but cotton falling heavily. December 13 wheat finished up 7.75cents at 694.75US cents/bushel, the highest close since July 11th. Strong demand for wheat from Iraq, Algeria, Bangladesh and Jordan all tendering for wheat, and support also came from suggestions that 2014 production for Russia and Ukraine will be significantly lower. Talk that Ukraine’s 2014 crop will be up to 1/3 lower (7-8 million tonnes lower) and Russia’s crop 7-7.5 million tonnes lower provided support to the market. December corn closed on the highs of the day, up 6.25 cents and on a 5 session high. Short-covering took place due to a slowdown in harvest activity from wet weather in parts of the Midwest. Soybeans finished up 1.5 cents at 1296.5cents/bushel, which was midpoint of their trading range for the session. Traders see improving weather for South American beans as a negative factor and ideas that spread traders are exiting bean/corn spreads added to the pressure. Harvest is pegged at 20-22% complete in the US and expected to pick-up in the coming 5-6 days with dry weather ahead.

Cotton overnight was dropped like a hot potato and fell 316 points on the December contract whilst May fell 267 points. This is thought to be as a result of weather bets placed on the possibility of Cyclone Karen damaging crops in the US being liquidated as she touched down with no damage. The US Government shutdown is also leaving traders in the dark with no reports for crop progress, classing and export sales coming from the USDA last week. Locally, cotton planting is underway across valleys from the MacIntyre down to the Macquarie Valley, however most are yet to commence. Prices today are $461/bale for 2013 and $467/bale for 2014 pick.

Locally, as early harvest continues we are hearing reports of lower yields but reasonable quality of products. Faba bean demand and prices have dropped considerably in the space of a few days. Last week we were buying fabas at $390/mt delivered Moree and today those prices are 355/mt Moree & Goondi and $395-400/mt delivered Downs (however availability of space is tight into Downs destinations). Discounts are available for No2’s but dependent on whether there’s a segregation for No2’s. Chickpea values remain unfavourable for grower selling around $330-340/mt delivered Narrabri, which is due to a lack of demand from the subcontinent. We are finding it very difficult to get bids from buyers on chickpeas and there is a real possibility growers who store on-farm will not see strong demand through until March/April or late June/early July next year with no guarantee that $500/mt prices will be achievable!  We have warehousing facilities available for pulses at Agripark Moree this season. For more details, please contact our office.