Harvest is rounding the home straight in Queensland and northern NSW, nearing 50 to 60 per cent.
Quality to date has been reflective of the seasonal conditions, with the lack of moisture contributing to grades milling around the centre of the quality chart, with Australian standard white one, Australian utility hard two and Australian premium white one the main grades being presented at bulk handling sites.
Consumers have been engaged from the outset this season, with most now reporting to have good coverage out the curve through December, which will see opportunities for ex-farm and delivered marketing present themselves again in the New Year.
This is, however, going to be a year to maintain engagement, as central and southern NSW producers are motivated sellers also, seeing value in these northern NSW/southern Queensland markets, and with higher yielding crops and good access to road freight, the expectation is that this grain will flow north all year.
While the dry conditions this season have established a floor in the market, these interstate supplies are having a capping effect on prices, with values expected to be range-bound for some time.
Weather forecasts show an estimated 40 to 50 millimetres of rain over southern Queensland and northern NSW regions with the potential to move further south into NSW, which will certainly help get the ball rolling on summer crop prospects.
Internationally, reports that disruptions to Eastern European grain supply networks were easing saw wheat futures values soften slightly.
However, in the neighbouring corn and soybean pits, the focus on dry conditions in South American soybeans had markets rallying.
As the world watches fluctuations in global commodity prices and changing weather patterns, one area gaining increased focus within the industry is freight rates for Australian bulk transport.
The decrease in demand for road freight over the last six to eight months has led to cheaper freight rates, which, when combined with rising fuel prices, is putting pressure on many freight providers.
Some fuel companies suggest there is little relief in sight, with diesel prices estimated to reach as high as $2.50 by the end of the year.
Freight providers are running trucks for little to no margin and, in some cases, at a loss to try and get through until new crop where they are hoping demand will increase to sustainable levels.
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