Widespread rain across Queensland and NSW during the past 10 days has been more than welcome through the cropping and pastoral regions.
Isolated falls of as much as 305 millimetres have been recorded to date, with more forecast for the current week.
With warming sea surface temperatures around Australia and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) deteriorating from a strong positive to currently neutral phase, there are no clear established climate drivers to pull moisture away leaving us primed to capture follow-up rain.
Rivers are flowing and dams filling for the first time in more than 24-months for some areas.
Although far from a drought-breaker, it has managed to put a bend in the conditions experienced in recent times across regions lucky enough to experience the storm lottery.
While the recent rains are encouraging, follow-up is critical to recover from the previous years of moisture deficits.
Leading up to the rain events, domestic delivered markets softened $15 to $20 a tonne on the east coast as grower and trade selling intensified. The Griffith zone is down from the highs of $395/t to be bid high $370s, while the Young zone is trading about $10/t over Griffith.
The answer to what this means for grain prices will become more prevalent in the coming four to six weeks as feed may become more available.
This could potentially lead to less on-farm feeding which could influence east coast pricing.
Leading up to the rain events, domestic delivered markets softened $15 to $20 a tonne on the east coast as grower and trade selling intensified.
The Griffith zone is down from the highs of $395/t to be bid high $370s, while the Young zone is trading about $10/t over Griffith.
The Darling and Western Downs are still bid $460/t to $465/t, however, expected to be serviced with transhipments of interstate grain via road, train and boats.
On the new crop front today, we are seeing an inverted market to the tune of $50/t excluding carries for the 2020/21 season where Port Kembla wheat is bid at $340/t. As the prospects of the northern crop plant improve, it is likely we will see either a larger inversion or the market to take a softer turn altogether.
Having said that, we are now only mid-February and with a small sorghum crop there is a long time before new supplies become readily available to the market.
Barley in the southern markets has been coming off the boil, with the Melbourne track market having traded at sub $300/t.
What this means is that while this two-tiered market of the trade and growers exists, especially in NSW, trains should continue to feed these hungry northern markets.