Dry in­flates mung­bean price

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

MUNGBEANS are ex­pected to be a hot com­mod­ity for farm­ers in the re­gion this sum­mer.

Low yield and qual­ity from high tem­per­a­tures could give farm­ers the in­cen­tive to make the most from their mung­bean.

Do­mes­tic mar­ket short­age is ex­pected to bring the price up to around $1200 a tonne for mid­dle-grade prod­uct.

Aus­tralian Mung­bean Co Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Damien White said it was close to the high of last year be­fore the main crop came off.

“Last year it got up to close to that, but then it drifted back to about $1100 when main har­vest time was on,” Mr White said.

“The mar­ket’s strong over­seas but I think this ex­tra spike can be mainly put down to do­mes­tic trad­ing shorts.”

The price of mungbeans is thought to have gone up due to a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors push­ing up de­mand.

By com­par­i­son, the sorghum price is ex­pected to stay flat due to low de­mand and carry-over stock af­fect­ing ex­port prices.

“I think there’s a strong pos­si­bil­ity it will stay high be­cause of the long pro­tracted dry which is af­fect­ing all re­gions’ pro­duc­tion,” Mr White said.

“Crops are in all dif­fer­ent stages but be­cause we’ve had such a pro­longed pe­riod of high tem­per­a­ture and no rain it’s re­ally re­duced the fore­cast crop size.

“If that wasn’t the case, these do­mes­tic shorts would wind their way through rea­son­ably quickly and we’d be back to trad­ing on a true mar­ket, but I don’t think the vol­ume of crop is there out of Aus­tralia this year.”

As a re­sult of the weather, the crop is un­likely to yield as much, adding ex­tra in­cen­tive for farm­ers to plant as much as they can.

Mungbeans have a good de­gree of drought re­sis­tance com­pared to other crops due to hav­ing a short plant­ing cy­cle.

In wet soil it can get in and out of the ground quickly be­fore the ef­fects of pro­longed drought can re­ally take hold.

But in this ex­treme dry, there’s a chance not only the yield but the qual­ity of the prod­uct could be af­fected.

The mar­ket’s strong over­seas but I think this ex­tra spike can be mainly put down to do­mes­tic trad­ing shorts. — Damien White

“The va­ri­eties we’ve got have been very good in terms of how they match our dry land pro­duc­tion sea­son,” Mr White said.

“But we’re find­ing they’re com­ing in very quick and that’s short­en­ing them up and caus­ing dis­coloura­tion of the seeds.”

PHOTO: KATE BENE­DICT

DO­MES­TIC MAR­KET SHORT: Mung­bean prices are ex­pected to climb this sum­mer.

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