Insights May 2023
Insights May 2023
- Australian winter crop sowing is underway with favourable conditions across most regions. Early planted crops have germinated well and are off to a good start.
- Global wheat prices have been pressured lower from improved weather conditions in the northern hemisphere and the prospects of a 22-year high in Canadian planted area.
Planting of the 2023/24 winter crop is well underway with growers taking advantage of good soil moisture conditions. Early planted crops have germinated well and are off to a good start. Limited rain over the past fortnight is seeing some regions slow down as topsoils dry out. This will see some programs re-evaluated with the possibility of planned canola planting cut back in favour of more cereals.
Global wheat markets continued to move lower over the month with US wheat futures down around A$34 per tonne. Wheat is facing pressure from improved weather conditions in the northern hemisphere. This has led to recent upgrades in the US winter wheat crop ratings. Other bearish fundamentals include a forecast 22-year high in Canadian wheat planted area. Two-way market price action remains a strong possibility. A sudden supply cut from the Black Sea region is one possible catalyst. Production downgrades to the northern hemisphere crop from any adverse weather events is another.
Australian wheat prices didn't experience the full decline seen in offshore markets, down $10-20 per tonne across port zones over April. Local markets remained quiet as growers focussed on new crop planting has limited sell side pressure. Local barley markets have remained steady over April. Smaller feedlots are still preferring barley over wheat which is supporting domestic markets. Export markets have gained some support from the confidence gained by the potential return of exports to China. But there is still much that needs to occur before this becomes a reality. Canola remains volatile with large price swings over the past month. Any price spikes have been followed by weaker markets which has seen it fall by around $34 per tonne from last month.
Export demand for Australian grain remains strong. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows wheat and canola exports are at record pace to the end of February. China remains Australia's largest consumer of wheat with 26 per cent of market share. They are on target to import over seven million tonnes of Australian wheat this season. Traditional Asian destinations in Indonesia, Japan, and Philippines are also strong buyers.
Sources: Profarmer Australia
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