Bulls and Bears Are Here
By Warren Lander
During the last week there has been an increase of wheat and barley pricing by $5 to $8 per tonne respectively in the protein grades, while Australian Premium White and Australian Standard Wheat remained steady. As many growers expected - most traders, flour millers, livestock feed lotters and general end users have awoken from their slumber to the realisation that the south will not have all the protein and supply requirements that are needed.
This type of movement in price has very quickly been added onto any ex farm stocks that currently are out there in Central West New South Wales with sellers now quoting $380-$390 for Australian Hard (H2) and above, while Australian Premium White and below $10 – $15 less quoting at $365-$375. Couple this with the spot pricing into the Downs feedlot market during the week at a $445 - 455/mt delivered due to a shortage, this is showing anything could happen if boats are held up at all over the Christmas period.
We have also seen the Griffith market starting to lift due to the lack of growers selling in the area. Current pricing is approx. $365/mt but there is also a flow on effect from further south, being the Southern NSW grower due to the fact that they have over 60% of wheat being stored on farm, and up to 80% of Barley stored. While the Victorian grower is not selling, reports have been that over 55% - 65% of total grain harvested that has been delivered into grain handlers currently is unsold, and they are not in any hurry to sell.
So we are seeing an East Coast market that has more buyers than sellers and the grower is drip feeding the market just enough to create some pressure. As a rising market forms, a rally in the Western Australian market due to a lack of grower selling has also developed. Ships have been booked for some export sales and must be filled, resulting in prices being pushed up. This has then created a shiver to the Brisbane market which is totally dependent on Western and Southern Australian grain flows for another 12 months and does not want any complexity in its supply, resulting in price rising mainly from South Australia and Victorian port zones. This also caused increased spot pricing into the Central West / Southern New South Wales regions.
But will the emotional factor of the grower striving to get the best deal also be his downfall with the grain importation drum getting stronger and louder again? The Chinese anti – dumping saga still has not been resolved, so no export barley market from the West and a reduction in demand from Asia for flour due to pricing concerns which has now allowed competitors into the market, seeing lower output by the Australian flour miller. While the seller will continue to set the pace and try to be a price maker not a price taker, some caution to the wind should be taken.
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