Sorghum values continued to firm last week as crops feel the brunt of dry, hot, January weather. with production estimates falling with the unfavourable finish. Quality may be a greater concern.
Although the north has escaped the worst of the brutal heat seen in South Eastern Australia last week, average daytime temperatures across the Northern NSW have regularly climbed into the low 40’s last week which is around four to six degrees hotter than average.
Dry weather and sweltering temperatures have taken the shine of promising Southern Queensland sorghum crop while the northern NSW has gone from bad to worse.
Sorghum values continued to strengthen last week as traders’ factor in a smaller than expected crop. Newcastle sorghum was up to $385 delivered which is about $20 above the Darling Downs.
Price premiums into Tamworth and Newcastle are reflective of the poor state of the northern NSW sorghum harvest. Higher price in northern NSW are already starting to encourage traders to truck Queensland sorghum south. Northern NSW end-users are still keen to utilise sorghum in feed rations as its still $80 cheaper than wheat.
Quality of the Southern Queensland sorghum crop is now shaping as another major hurdle for farmers. Screenings has emerged as a significant problem in the early harvesting in the Condamine and Meandarra area. Farmers are saying a lot of crop has more than 20 pc high screenings which is incurring hefty discounts.
High screenings levels in the early harvested crops has some farmers are struggling to reach the quality levels of early sorghum No.1 sales.
Sorghum was $5 higher last week at $365 delivered into the Darling Downs for No.1 quality while the No.2 sorghum around $330 to $335.
Quality remains a concern for crops that will be harvested where crops have suffered with the lack of a finishing rain in January. Sorghum heads have not fully filled as the crops run short of moisture, and this is expected to result in high screenings.
Wheat and barley values continued to drift lower last week. Southern NSW wheat bids into Hanwood fell by $10 to $430 delivered as traders and end-users become more comfortable with coverage.
Barley values drifted lower last week as weakness in global markets trickled through into the east coast.
Western Australian barley prices fell $10 to $298 free-in-store Kwinana last week. It was the first-time prices have fallen below $300 since the antidumping investigation was announced in December.
Barley traders are becoming more circumspect about further Chinese imports after Beijing initiated an antidumping investigation into Australian imports. China has been the major destination for Australian barley exports in recent years, accounting for 60 to 70pc of total exports.
China’s total barley imports have plummeted in recent months. Recently released customs data showed that China only imported 580,000 tonnes of barley in the October to December quarter down from 1.9 million tonnes in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Traders are concerned about future sales to China needed to shift Western Australia’s record large barley crop.
Sorghum values continued to strengthen last week as traders’ factor in a smaller than expected crop. Newcastle sorghum was up to $385 delivered.