GRAINCORP received about one million tonnes of grain into its NSW grain storage network in the week ending Monday, as the harvest pace picks up.
Grain receivals climbed as harvest got fully underway through northern NSW and to a less extent central NSW. Farmers in southern NSW have started canola and some early barley, but harvest is not expected to crank up until later this week, or even possibly next week.
GrainCorp had received around 1.3 million tonnes into its NSW grain network so far this harvest.
But this figure is expected to climb sharply in the coming weeks as harvest gets progresses in what is seen as a bumper crop.
Early yields through the north west have been impressive, with growers reporting wheat crops going four to five tonnes a hectare and even larger barley yields.
Farmers in the Central West are also reporting huge yields in their cereal and canola crops and this trend is expected to extend into the Riverina and southern slopes.
Quality has also exceeded farmer expectations in most cases, although black tip has been a problem for some.
Protein levels in wheat have been higher than expected given the good yields.
Farmers are putting the better proteins down to increased fertiliser applications in order to make the most of the above average in crop rainfall.
The pattern of bumper yields through northern NSW is through most of Australia’s major grain growing regions.
GrainCorp has already exceeded last year’s grain deliveries into its Queensland network, having received around 1.4 million tonnes up to the end of last week.
Similarly, South Australia’s department of agriculture significantly lifted their estimates for their harvest on the back of the record high yields in the early harvest.
Many traders expect Australia’s wheat crop will exceed 30 million tonnes for the first time ever, as a result of the bumper yields.
This is solidly higher than ABARES current forecast of 28.5 million tonnes.
ABARES will update its harvest estimates again in early December.
Most farmers are intent on getting the crop harvested and into storage before starting to market the crop.
Overall, farmers have been reluctant sellers of wheat and barley at the current low prices, but have been more willing to let go of their canola as its harvested.
Local wheat prices were softer last week as the rapid harvest pace pushed more grain onto the market.
A three per cent fall in the value of the Australian dollar failed to support local wheat prices last week, although it did lend support to sorghum values.
Newcastle Australian Premium White (APW) wheat slipped by $9 a tonne to $225/t, which is broadly in line with other east coast port prices.
Australian Standard White (ASW) wheat was $5/t lower at $211/t Newcastle.
Domestic marketers are showing some strong demand for higher protein grades over the exporter bids.
Sorghum defied the weakness seen in wheat, finishing the week $8/t higher at $220 Newcastle.
Feed barley prices were firmer on exporter demand, particularly in the southern half of the state.
Melbourne F1 feed barley prices ended the week $10/t higher at $180/t delivered.
Chickpeas tumbled by a further $100/t to $720/t Brisbane.
Australian exporters appear to be gaining some traction in selling this year’s wheat harvest with shipping stem data showing a lot of new vessels due to be loaded in the coming weeks.