April has seen some swings in domestic markets and domestic feed grains prices seemed to peak around the week of 7th April. SFW delivered Brisbane has been as high as $385/mt and delivered Downs at $375. Today, these values are closer to $377 BNE and $370 Downs. Sorghum delivered Brisbane topped around $352/mt and finished the month (after a steep decline in the last two days) at $337/mt. Sorghum delivered into Newcastle has quietened off in demand from a number of buyers as commitments have been filled. Demand still remains strong in the north for all feed grains and depending on location of grain, it can work into a number of homes. Sorghum harvest continues on the Plains and there will be some large areas of late sorghum again this year and most likely require drying down of grain.

Cotton picking continues across the region with more of an idea of quality now that gin runs are being made. In general, dryland crops have experienced short staple length and irregular short fibre index. Yields have been affected due to the tough season and rain nearing ripeness. Most growers are informing us that their yields are lower than expected. This month, prices have ranged from $500-525/bale but have not below $500. Due to the large inverse from July through to December, most merchants are discounting cotton delivered post-June delivery.

As a general update on planting activity and winter cropping intentions across the region, it appears that it is a mixed bag of activity. Fabas in the north are pretty much planted, as is canola. We have been contracting canola on a hectare basis across the region during April. For anyone interested in discussing these, please contact us in the AgVantage office.

A lot of growers are telling us that they will require a planting rain before getting any cereals in the ground this season as the moisture they had previously is getting away from them. Moisture levels are varied across the region and it’s not uncommon to hear that one farmer has a ‘good’ moisture profile while 15k down the road there is minimal moisture and the risk of no crop being planted. Of course there are other regions that still have a long way to go and in need of inches of rain to think about getting a crop in.

Old crop chickpea demand remains fairly flat with limited homes. NNSW homes are hard to come by and the majority of the homes are delivered Downs, with June the main delivery period. Values this month have fluctuated around $470-475/mt delivered. We are speaking to growers daily who have old crop peas remaining on farm and are waiting on a spike before selling more. At this stage, we are unsure as to whether this will actually happen before offshore consumers switch to new crop pricing. Of course with pulses, anything is possible.