Harvest moves South
By Craig Ednie
15th November, 2023
Queensland and Northern NSW have parked the headers and are done and dusted, while Central NSW is about 50% done. Southern NSW is seeing more headers in canola and barley paddocks, and we should start to see some activity in wheat paddocks sooner rather than later. In Northeast Victoria and the Mallee, we are just starting to see tonnages begin to hit the sites with early indications that yield, and quality are favourable.
The canola market in general has been on a decline over the last six to eight weeks and many growers are asking the question as to why. With crops in New South Wales smaller and not yielding as high as had hoped, there is a strong belief that the market should be trending in a more positive and upwards direction. It seems the decline price is largely connected to export markets with weakness in markets in Europe due to abundant supply from Ukraine. Wheat has been the Cinderella story of harvest with strong pricing helped by the pull from the northern consumers. We are seeing some strong premiums attracting some volume into sites and growers taking advantage of locking away some tonnages, especially those with protein.
How Australian growers decide to sell their grain is going to be the biggest factor impacting grain prices over the next period. It’s a hard time for growers to continually watch a moving target, as for most they are either sitting on a header, in trucks, chaser bin driving, fixing mechanical issues, dealing with people in the work force or wrestling with the internet connection to keep track of where the markets are up to. The list goes on but the challenges that are faced with day- to-day harvest is nothing new. One thing to remember though is that there are plenty of buyers that want grain so it will pay to be vigilant to market opportunities.
For now, the headers will continue to roll, as will the amounting cost of fuel for growers to continue to run all mechanical requirements. One thing for sure is that no matter the cost, the wheels need to keep on rolling with everyone out there in the industry hoping to be sitting down all together on Christmas Day celebrating a successful harvest and enjoying a hearty meal with those close to. How nice will that be, one can only hope and wish.
Until then, happy harvesting.
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