EVERYBODY in the industry is acutely aware of how little grain the east coast will produce this year.
And with harvest seemingly winding down across Queensland, NSW in full swing, and Victoria just beginning, the industry will be really focused on quality and how long the harvest period might last.
Harvest in Queensland has all but fizzled out, as per the comments from GrainCorp last week suggesting receivals have fallen to just 21,000 tonnes, when this figure stood at 508,000t this time last year.
This substantial drop in volume is attributed to the drought plaguing the east coast, but could include other factors, such as the rise in on-farm storage, or the prevalence of consumers buying direct from farms.
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- Wheat market's indecision
Quality across the state has been variable, with some milling quality wheat received, but also some that has been weather damaged due to the significant rainfall through October.
Regardless, the winter crop is destined for the stockfeed market in most cases, so quality is not the primary concern.
The NSW harvest is also ramping up, with early quality results on barley suggesting we might have some issues, with lower test weights recorded at a few receival sites in NSW.
This is compounded by data that suggests there is rain forecast across much of the state during the middle of this week, if it hasn’t already fallen by the time of reading.
This rain may benefit the later crops across NSW and certainly won’t be waved away by anybody, but this could lead us into some trouble if the forecast totals hit the ground.
Wheat is still a fortnight or so away in most places, perhaps longer if rain stalls the headers for too long.
The Victorian harvest will perhaps be the most keenly watched, with the hopes of all domestic consumers riding on it.
There have been some early barley crops stripped across the Mallee last week, with the F1 barley tipped to make its way to local feed consumers.
Surprisingly, there has been a good percentage of malt barley received which is pleasing in an area that struggled this year.
Wheat might not get started for another five to seven days, but everybody will be keen to see what comes off, particularly after the rain this week.
Milling quality wheat will be highly sought after, but until the quality prospects are determined in the north it’s hard to gauge appetite when competing against the feed market.