Canola crush: Prices soar but crop hurting

Canola crush: prices soar but crop hurting


Cropping
The Benhams of "Kooiyong", Mullaley, are flipping out over the great start to their 200 hectare canola crop. Lara, 13, at front, and her sister Eryn, 11, and dog, Kellie, are in the Clearfield crop. Photo by Rachael Webb.

The Benhams of "Kooiyong", Mullaley, are flipping out over the great start to their 200 hectare canola crop. Lara, 13, at front, and her sister Eryn, 11, and dog, Kellie, are in the Clearfield crop. Photo by Rachael Webb.

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North American soy bean crop jitters and a dry Australian canola growing season has grain traders pumping up local canola prices by the day.

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CANOLA prices are increasing by the day and rose to $570 a tonne delivered to Newcastle yesterday morning, the highest price since the 2013 season when it reached $620/t.

Price hikes are due to nerves on both North American and home-grown concerns, according to Ag Scientia analyst, Lloyd George, Melbourne.

“The global oilseed market is rallying as concerns increase over the US and Canadian soy bean crops which have reached their critical stage, coming into flower, in temperatures of 32 to 38 degrees,” he said.

“That’s where we have seen a very sharp upward move in US markets, and added to this are the problems in Western Australia where a lot of areas are looking pretty dreadful, although there had been some recent rain relief in growing areas.

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“Plus large areas of South Australia, which are in a similar situation. And it’s patchy around NSW as well.”

NSW canola prices have rallied by 10 per cent in the past five weeks, Mr George said, just in the past two weeks it had jumped by as much as $38/t.

“In Melbourne two weeks ago the price was $532/t and last Friday had risen to $551/t for Port Kembla and Newcastle, he said. It jumped another $20 a tonne last week on top of a $15/t rise the week previous.”

But the major potential problem in Australia was the amount of domestic crush requirements.

Mr George said in the east coast region of Australia there was the best part of 900,000 tonnes of crush.

“And if we put some question marks over the current crop size, people are getting a little bit nervous about supply.”

Mr George suggested there may not be as much to export as what was thought.

He said nerves were starting to fray a little bit. “This has been inspired by the overseas market and home-grown concerns as the industry gets worried about the situation.”

The crop is looking excellent around Gunnedah. Andrew Benham, “Kooiyong”, Mullaley, has planted about 200 hectares of Clearfield 45Y90 canola in mid-late April, with a full soil profile on sorghum stubble. 

He will direct-head the crop at the end of October, without windrowing and is expecting a 2.7t/ha yield.

Pursehouse Rural agronomist, Matt Roseby, said Mr Benham would enjoy double benefits from his canola crop, with an excellent start and top returns, and then by using Intervix herbicide, will have a residual herbicide back-up to attack summer grasses, which are proving a problem in the Gunnedah region.

“Canola has two benefits, the prices for the farmer and then the tool to combat summer weeds in the fallow. It has given us another herbicide group to attack the summer grass resistance issues in the area”.

Mr Roseby said there had been a great start to the canola season in a 50 kilometre range around Gunnedah. Rain had come at the right times compared to other canola growing areas.

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