Prices mixed and higher
THE first deliveries of grain for the 2018-19 season are making their way into ports, following a mixed start to autumn sowing and a drier than average winter.
Just as conditions have been mixed across Australia’s grain growing regions, so too are prices for grain delivered to port. Bulk grain handler Viterra received its first load of grain in South Australia last weekend, signalling the start of the state’s harvest.
The first load – a delivery of H2 wheat into Port Pirie by Port Germein grower Steven Mudge – was of good quality and good test weight. Viterra operations manager Michael Hill said he expected a mixture of grain quality over the 2018-19 harvest.
“We have prepared our segregation plan to meet a broad range of requirements for growers and end-users,” Mr Hill said.
“We will also open additional segregations during harvest based on the grain that is being delivered. Port Pirie also received the first load of barley for the 2018-19 season, along with the first load of peas. In Western Australia bulk grain handler CHB Group received about 36 tonnes of canola delivered to the Geraldton Port on October 17, with more deliveries of canola and barley expected to follow. H2 wheat delivered to Melbourne last week went for $472 tonne, up on $290 in October last year, while APW wheat delivered to Melbourne last week fetched $453 a tonne, an increase of $183 a tonne on last year’s figure.
Malt 1 barley delivered last week to Melbourne went for $460 a tonne, up on $249 for the same time last year.
Milling oats delivered to Melbourne last week sold for $480 a tonne, up on last year’s price of $200 a tonne.
Oilseed prices were also mixed, with desi chick peas delivered to Melbourne last week fetching $780 a tonne, down from $830 a tonne in October last year. Faba beans soared to $750 a tonne, up on $285 a tonne delivered to Melbourne last year.
A Commonwealth Bank market analysis report released last week put the ASX East January 2019 wheat contract at $444 a tonne, while also noting a sharp drop in oilseed prices.
Analyst Tobin Gorey wrote in the report that canola prices were affected by slow US soyabean export sales.
“Weather forecasters expect major soyabean regions – Mato Grosso in Brazil, Cordoba in Argentina – have been on the dry side,” Mr Gorey said.
“Weather forecasters expect both regions to get good planting rain over the next week or so. The price fall also takes some heat out of the momentum issue too.”
Mr Gorey said while the global market lacked some direction, the world wheat market could settle down soon as major production risks for the season pass.
“The rains in Australia’s winter crop regions over the past week are likely to have put a firmer foundation under crop forecasts for season 2018. Crops in southern regions, east and west, remain vulnerable to frosts.”
IN DEMAND: Faba beans soared to $750 a tonne this week.