This month feed grain values have remained strong and we have touched season highs. Delivered Brisbane wheat saw over $380/mt delivered however, recent weather events have pulled values back to the tune of $20/mt on wheat. Although we have seen a pullback in values, we believe grower selling will also dry up and consumers still require stock through until new crop. Growers keep reminding us that it’s not ‘raining grain’ and that consumers will need product to keep them going right through to new crop harvest, which is true.

Barley demand and prices have been up and down through March also. Demand comes and goes as the spread between barley and wheat narrows then widens again. Currently, the spread is quite narrow and there is not overly strong demand present. This will probably continue on a week-to-week basis.

Chickpeas spiked earlier in the month on the back of weather concerns and crop damage to the Indian crop. These were unsubstantiated fears and the trade feel it was a false rally as destination values weren’t reflective of local values, nor were they sustained. Demand for chickpeas seems to have quietened down into Narrabri and Moree destinations, however is still present on a delivered Dalby/Oakey basis for may delivery. This year Ramadan falls over the period from 28th June through to the 27th July so the end of May is really the last opportunity to deliver old crop chickpeas before the this period. After this, there most likely won’t be another opportunity to price and move old crop peas until new crop harvest.

This past week, every conversation has been focused on the weather and how lovely it is to receive rain after it being so dry. We have seen or heard of the following falls being recorded for the week;

Gunnedah 121mm, Boggabri 101mm, Maules Creek 167-212mm, Narrabri 177mm, Wee Waa 128mm, Burren Junction 113mm, Rowena 73-113mm, Walgett a disappointing 30mm, Edgeroi 180mm, Bellata 140mm, Moree 71mm, Wathagar 231mm, Garah 60mm, Weemelah 134mm.

Whilst the rain has been a very welcome relief for most, those that have cotton in the ground ready to pick will be anxiously waiting to see how these new varieties, especially 74 will respond to this event.

We are starting to talk new crop with both growers and sellers and buyers are keen to look at new crop wheat, canola and barley. Values have been attractive, however even with good falls of rain around, we are still in need of follow-up rain to give enough confidence in putting a crop in the ground. Generally, this kind of rain now would fill a profile and allow growers to go ahead with their full plant. As it currently stands, most growers had zero subsoil moisture going into this rain event and it we will be interested to see what kind of profile this will leave them with. It’s certainly a good starting point for follow-up rain, especially in the Walgett district, where falls were disappointing compared to the eastern areas. For most, faba beans and canola are already ruled out and they will look to winter cereals and chickpeas now. We will have a number of buyers interested in canola hectare contracts for anyone that will plant canola this season.

The USDA Stocks & Planting Intentions Report is due out on 31st March and usually gives the market direction. At times, in the lead-up to and post report release, we can see large swings in the markets, depending on market expectations versus report findings.