Fact of the Day – On Monday Tiger Woods won his 5th green jacket at the US Masters in Augusta. This victory comes 14 years after his last and 4th Masters triumph, with Woods battling both on and off the course issues over the last decade. With this win, Tiger confirmed again he is one of the best to ever play the game, along with earning one of the greatest ever comebacks in sports history.
No rain for April has arrived yet, with the forecast not predicting any falls till at least mid to late May. The current conditions around the region are still extremely poor, though some growers were lucky enough to get in some seed off the back of recent rain we had in late March. For now the temperatures have cooled as we approach Easter, though the dire need for more moisture could not be more emphasised in regards to the upcoming winter season. Abroad, eastern European countries are holding up the global supply for now, as US planting schedules seem to be significantly behind the pace of previous seasons. The next 6 months look to be quite tough regardless of what hemisphere you are based, though for the Australian east coast, it’s the fact that one bad season has now come off the back of at least 3-5 bad seasons.
On the pulse front, there is no real news heading at least out until about June, though this could also stretch even further throughout the year. With India doing their own thing, the global demand is just not high enough to warrant pricing for Chickpeas here at home to lift. For now delivered prices sit indicatively at $630/mt for Wee Waa/Goondi for 18/19 crop, and a discount of $40/mt less for 17/18 peas. The main point to take from this is that at least bids and market interest is becoming a little more frequent once again. Feed grains continue to stay firm with demand not slowing down heading in to continued dry times.
Cotton futures fell sharply on Friday, but since have been making good head way back to the previous levels we have seen the last month. There is still the continued uncertainty of what is occurring abroad via trade deals, though here at home, bale quality is slipping quite a bit considering the harsh season faced by all. Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $630, 2020 $600 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).
Have a nice Easter break
Fact of the Day: It took Apollo 11, that’s the spaceship that carried Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969, 4 days 6 hours and 45 minutes to get to the moon.
March ended with more rain than first expected, though this month isn’t looking too promising in the precipitation department. Border regions again look to have a great starting point for the season ahead, though the optimism begins to fade the more south you travel. As the dry winter looms, more and more vessels are landing as well as en route to the east coast from the west to relieve the northern and southern market zones in need of suppl. Newcastle and Brisbane ports are taking in bulk loads of barley and feed wheat, along with other protein meals and feed supplements also being stock piled. Pulses have struck some interest on the buying side with reports of the odd order heading abroad; though for now, prices remain too dismal for both old and new crop for growers to think about selling. Where the market is moving now is harder to read than first anticipated, but as long as India is out of the market, it gives Australian peas very little wiggle room to be exported to the international market.
Cotton has kept its positivity in regards to bale prices this week with merchant bids exceeding the $640 level. The main contributing factors still remain as the US – China trade talks and weather concerns across prime growing areas here at home and abroad. The trade negotiations appear to be making traction, though it seems neither side knows exactly what is going on or where they stand, hence the constant push back of an end date (now from March out to June). Last year the main point was that China would import a large degree of agri-commodities as part of the trade deal, though this is yet to fully blossom. On Tuesday the US futures had a slight tumble which forces July contracts much lower, this in return is where we have watched physical cotton bales priced $10 lower than where they stood Monday. Prices today are priced at 2019 $630, 2020 $610 and 2021 at $550. The AUD opened today at $0.713 with little change from earlier in the week.
Another great fall came across NNSW and SQ over the weekend. Falls ranged from 25-125mm depending on location. The massive drops seem to be scattered around the Liverpool plains, though the sheer amount was too much to quick to gain the most benefit of the soaking. Narrabri and surroundings ranged between 45-60 which is a nice buffer on the back of recent falls, though there will need to be some severe follow up to move in a positive direction. The border regions have been the most profitable out of March/April rain, with Goondiwindi and close by areas having received about 6-8 inches over the last fortnight, this gives the area a fantastic start to what still looks like a considerably dry winter. None the less, it is a starting platform for the season ahead and a nice change of scenery if anything.
Feed grain prices softened after the recent rain, though by not much as there is still high demand for the months out till the next winter crop is harvested. Chickpea bids have surfaced here and there, but mainly for 17/18 crop, and prices are not at all appealing enough to comprehend.
Cotton, along with the rain have been the good news stories over the last week to ten days. Futures have held their own, and with demand creeping up due to a significantly smaller Australian season, prices are comfortably at the $630 level. Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $632, 2020 $610 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – Today is the autumn equinox, this marks the vernal equinox for those in the southern hemisphere. During the equinoxes, the day and night length are equal all around the world. The equinox occurs at the same time regardless of where someone is located.
The weekend just gone has brought a fair chunk of rain for some growers around NNSW and SQ. Reports of falls between 30mm-250mm over the weekend between Narrabri and the border have been a welcome change of scenery and we have reclaimed a bit of optimism for the hopes of the season ahead. Obviously, this cannot be a one-off event, that amount of rain will near need to be a fortnightly occurrence for the next few months. Though, recent reports from the bureau show that there is now an increased alert for the outlook on El Nino, thus giving the already struggling climate a theoretical kick in the head. How the next few weeks to months pan out is really based on a flip of the coin, though for now it still looks bleak.
We are now stampeding towards April and the feed markets are holding their own as demand continues for those needing cover over winter. Bids are steady with sorghum still priced at the $350/mt level ex-farm around the Narrabri and northern areas. Protein meals and roughage are also sought after on a prompt basis. These additives are working as great substitutes for stock nutrition and fibre, but also works out to be a little more economical for those working on their price to value rationing. Pulses are yet to be commented on this year, they say “no news is good news”, though at this point we could all do with a little more insight and news in to where overseas demand is heading.
Cotton has had a promising week. The futures have been firm with any losses being only minor. We saw a slight hesitation from the market as US-China negotiations look to drag out longer, though this seemed to be brief as the trade put it to the side and kept on with daily business. Gins are beginning to get in to full swing around the area, with picking continuing throughout border regions heading south to Moree. With production uncertainty a worry, along with the risk of forward selling, it is still promising to be above the $600 level for now.Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $625, 2020 $605 and 2021 $550 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – The Coca-Cola brand is worth an estimated $74 billion USD, more than Budweiser, Pepsi, Starbucks and Red Bull combined.
The Chicago board of trade futures had quite a surprising day of movement. Reports state, the CBOT “had their largest single day rally in around 8 months, with unconfirmed rumours of a large purchase of US wheat driving these gains”. On the back of this, promising weather reports throughout the US, Europe and some eastern bloc countries show they are expected to receive more promising falls as soil moisture continues to build. The greenback drifted back over the last few days, with the AUD firming and standing at $0.708 today. Politics seem to be the only changing news as of late as leaders continue to battle over trade, Brexit and even a NSW state election in the coming weeks.
With scattered showers and rolling storms the only change in recent times on the weather front, we are faced with what looks to be another dry and warm winter. Over the last 2 to 3 weeks, most feed grains have softened, which mainly has been a little easier on current lot feeders and graziers as prices have been more than costly over the last few 6 months. As conditions deteriorate, the prevalence of protein meals (PKE, canola and soybean meal) is increasing by the day. These substitutions, along with hay and grains is keeping nutrition for stock at the needed levels to keep them from losing condition and value. Though, as more livestock are set for sale in coming weeks, the market follows by continuing to tumble, showing cattle farmers don’t see any change to help them through winter. Pulses have not changed in the past week, nor do we expect much movement till either India re-joins the market or increased demand post Ramadan.
Cotton traded highly early in the week, this looked to be brought on by positive trade negotiations between the US and China, as US cotton appears to be able to prosper more from this news. Picking continues around SQ and NNSW as reports on yields are yet to trickle down the grapevine, though as more is stripped around the area we should gain a better grasp of how this seasons production will fare. Bale prices today have jumped nicely for current and seasons ahead, 2019 $622, 2020 $600 and2021 $545(at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – The red of the Chinese flag symbolizes the communist revolution, and it’s also the traditional colour of the people. The large gold star represents communism, while the four smaller stars represent the social classes of the people.
The summit in Vietnam last week ended abruptly, as Supreme leader Kim and Trump were unable to come to an agreement on accelerating nuclear disarmament, for now. Though there was some good news to come out of the media circus, Trump tweeted that progress between China and the US on trade negotiations was moving very swiftly and smoothly. This news played its role across world markets, with futures and physical commodity prices rallying in wake of a profitable agreement for both parties being negotiated. The AUD opened today at just a slither under the $0.71 mark.
Now a full week in to March, forecasts still are predicting very little to no precipitation, which also coincides with at least another 7-10 days of 35 degrees or higher. As summer crops are coming off, whether it be Cotton or Sorghum, the already slim idea of a winter crop is getting more and more scarce as any autumn rain seems unlikely at this point in time. Feed markets remain the driving force behind any movement of grain throughout SQ and NNSW, with wheat, barley and sorghum just softening late last week and only making slight gains over the past few days. Pulses are at a standstill across the board, as now we can only wait till our product is sought after by the overseas buyers.
Once again, we have watched cotton futures and bale prices see saw over the past week, this really is only based on the knife edge that is the US and Chinese trade war. We saw a fluctuation of $5-10/bale throughout the past few days, though there remains little selling interest as production uncertainty continues to take its toll on growers marketing plans. Prices today for seasons ahead stand at 2019 $608, 2020 $590 and 2021 $545 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – The Sun accounts for 99.86% of the mass of the Solar System. You could fit 109 Earths side by side to match the diameter of the Sun, and it would take 1.3 million planets the size of the Earth to fill it up.
We look to Vietnam as the world watches the strange security measures some world leaders have in preparation for this week’s summit. The supreme leader and Trump will be at the top of the list for intrigue as they continue to make headway on nuclear disarmament, China will be second to tune in for as they talk trade negotiations. Currencies have had a moving week with the US dollar dropping away, the Aussie dollar made modest gains on the back of this news. Today the dollar opened at just under the $0.72 mark.
The month of March is tomorrow, and even more pleasing, Autumn. Although the forecast doesn’t look too different, here is hoping the cooler and wetter days are only just around the corner for all. Going off just the last two months, not much change has occurred on the grains and feed front. Demand is still rampant across the eastern states for anything that is edible and that will produce energy for struggling lot feeders and graziers. Sorghum has had a deflating week on the back of last week’s gains, though the demand for top grade is still very much there, as the season has produced higher percentage screenings than previous years. Pricing is floating at $340-50 XF Moree and Narrabri subject to location, with bids improving heading south. Pulses are still not worth the comment due to their demand being next to none, bids looking around $760/mt Downs.
Cotton continues its lacklustre form as it struggles to find its place on the back of trade negotiations and US planting estimates. Last week we saw bale prices jump by about twenty dollars, though that has now subsided, and pricing is back to sub six hundred levels. Picking across the area will be in full swing over the next few weeks around the North West, as cotton continues to battle the woeful conditions. Prices today for seasons ahead stand at 2019 $590, 2020 $585 and 2021 $545 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day – If the U.S. was to cut its military budget by 75%, it would still have the world’s largest military budget.
The week started off slow as the US markets had the Monday off to celebrate President’s day. Over the last few days there has been positive signs as continued negotiations across the Pacific make progress, the two agreed on making currencies more stable. Though this seems like it will only be another task on the to do list to renegotiate as time goes on. With this news, we saw the Aussie dollar climb due to our own international interests with China. The dollar sits at $0.718 to start the day.
With the weather forecast reporting subdued temperatures to end the week, there is still nothing promising to fall over the next fortnight. Though all eyes are on the tropical cyclone for now, as it could very well turn and provide some decent moisture across SQ and NNSW, fingers crossed. Feed is still sought after from every corner of the eastern states, vessels also continue to make their way around from the west as the costs to consumers continue to tick over. Sorghum has rallied over the past few days with buyers looking to take tonnes in every direction across the state and still only being able to source it from the north, at this stage. We expect the plains to get started over the next 2 weeks, however how their yields and quality will compare to the northern crops will be interesting, as this will also play a part in domestic and port zone prizing going forward. Pulses have had little change this year, as we etch closer to Ramadan, it becomes more worrying that the overseas buying will not come till the post fasting period in mid-June. At the moment, there is many factors contributing to their markets abroad and it leaves Australian exporters and sellers sweating on their tonnes needing/wanting to be moved.
As stated earlier, the public holiday gave the markets a slow start to the week of trading, though since then Cotton has edged slightly higher on current trade war news. Prices today for seasons ahead stand at 2019 $586, 2020 $585 and 2021 $545 (at time of writing).
Fact of the Day –No single hour in any other country sees as many tonnes of fireworks set off as China does at midnight to celebrate the Chinese New Year. 2019 kicks off as the year of the pig.
Finally, the USDA were able to release their report on where global supply and demand estimates sit over the past two months. In the US, reports revealed that the planted wheat was down on where the market first suspected late last year. For the futures to react more hastily, there will need to be more evidence to support the minimised stock outlook heading in to the 2019 season. “The US have now cut their wheat planting by more than a quarter in the last five years” (T.Gorey, CBA). With the government shutdown looking to not repeat itself, the slow pace of negotiations between China and the US are becoming more and more concerning from the markets point of view. The summit in Vietnam in the coming weeks will also play its role, especially as the world watches Trump and Kim Jong-Un play nice for the second time.
Feed grain focus is all but changed, sorghum 1/2 still very much in demand, and cereals are being moved load by load for lot feeders and graziers around the region. With forecasts showing nothing but wind, heat and dust, we don’t expect the demand in feed grain as well as the pricing to soften soon. Chickpeas are quiet across the board, buyers have been out of the market for some time now with overseas demand at a near standstill. Crops abroad aren’t faring well, though their demand is also very low, meaning if they can get close to covering themselves with domestic chickpeas, our peas may seem like they are not desirable for a little longer. The Indian election could be the turning point we desperately need in the coming months.
Cotton futures saw some positive gains to start the week, though they took a sizeable fall off the back of the USCIA data. The US cotton industry association stated that there is set to be a 3% increase in planted cotton for the 2019 season. This gave bale prices here at home a disappointing drop, though at the moment there is very minimal interest in selling due to production uncertainty and the horrific season being faced across eastern states. Prices today for seasons ahead stand at 2019 $585, 2020 $585 and 2021 $545 (at time of writing).
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).