National Summary – Hay:

  • Again there has been very little change in the hay market this week, with trading remaining slow and prices unchanged in most regions.
  • Generally speaking the start to the season has been a good one for most east coast regions, with good early pasture growth seeing hay demand lower than expected. The key exceptions to this are drier regions in the North, both QLD and Northern NSW where paddock feed is short.
  • Both buyers and sellers are currently sitting out of the market watching how the season ahead unfolds. However this is not likely to continue as growers are starting to plan for the coming season’s harvest, and demand is likely to increase with winter hitting key dairy regions.
  • Most key hay producing regions in SA, Vic and southern NSW are positive about the coming hay harvest.
  • There is an ongoing trend across the country of high grade hay being difficult to source. Most high grade hay in storage is already under contract.
  • Lucerne hay is in tight supply generally across Australia.

Northern Australia:

  • As the dry conditions continue demand has slowed slightly but remains steady. As it gets cooler there are some signs of demand picking up.
  • Supplies of hay in Queensland and NSW are generally low. Cereal hay can be sourced from SA and Victoria but lucerne hay supplies are short in most regions.
  • There is some talk of growers looking at early cereal crops for hay now, however this is dependent on the weather.
  • Lucerne supplies may stay tight into the new season unless there are increased allocations of irrigation water.

Southern Australia:

  • Trading in southern regions remains slow, however continuing cold weather appears to be causing some interest in fodder locally, particularly cereal hay.
  • Cereal hay supplies are good in Victoria and SA, with limited volumes of hay moving north to meet the demand in Northern NSW and QLD. As growers start preparing for the 2014 hay crop more stocks are likely to come onto the market.
  • Prices have remained fairly steady this week with trading being slow.
  • Crop reports throughout most of the region suggest that the potential is there for large fodder harvest this season.

Western Australia:

  • The good start to the season has continued and accordingly demand is staying low.
  • The market for small squares of pasture hay is particularly tight this year.
  • Straw supplies are above average and quality is good.

1. Atherton Tableland – Hay Commentary

  • No real change in price or demand this week with both buyers and sellers uncertain of what the season ahead will bring. An increase in demand may come as cattle weaning starts.
  • While pasture growth is continuing some areas have this growth checked by frosts.
  • Hay supplies are very low after steady demand throughout the wet season.
  • Rhodes grass: ($280-$300/t). Prices remain steady this week.

2. Darling Downs – Hay Commentary

  • Demand for fodder remains steady as the dry conditions continue across the downs. At this stage this will see local production of fodder from winter crops limited and potentially an increased focus on summer cropping options.
  • Bulk paddock feed remains limited and demand is starting to pick up as the temperatures cool off.
  • There are small amounts of hay being sourced from Victoria and Southern NSW to meet demand. This trade has eased considerably through the past few months.
  • Some growers are starting to look at cutting early cereal crops for hay however the dry season will limit crop yields.
  • Cereal hay: ($350-$400/t). Cereal hay can be sourced from South Australia and Victoria where stocks are good. Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +$30 ($350-$400/t). Lucerne hay supplies are low, with trading limited as a result. Tight supply has again seen a price rise this week however trading is very limited.
  • Straw: ($210- $260/t). Steady this week but stocks are low as most straw was moved earlier in the year. Some sorghum stubble can be sourced now but supplies won’t last long.
  • Pasture hay:($165-$185/t). Small quantities of pasture hay are available. Quality is low.

3. North Coast NSW – Hay Commentary

  • Cold frosty weather in the past week has driven an increase in demand however local stocks are generally low.
  • Some paddock feed is available however if remains dry, and with temperatures dropping so too is the rate of paddock feed growth.
  • Hay supplies are very low and are expected to come under further pressure as demand picks up later in the year. With the season looking tight this may continue into the new season.
  • Cereal Hay: +25 ($325-$375/t). We saw an increase this week but local supplies are low and most cereal hay is being sourced from Victoria or South Australia.
  • Lucerne hay: +30($330-$430/t). Lucerne hay is very difficult to source and trading is limited as a result. The price increase is being largely driven by scarcity of product. The quality of lucerne that can be sourced is variable, hence the big variation in pricing.
  • Straw: ($200-$250/t). Straw supplies are very low. Buyers seeking fibre to supplement the green pick may need to look for low-grade pasture hay as an alternative to straw.
  • Pasture hay: +10($210-230/t). An increase in pasture hay price this week but again trading was limited due to low availability. Generally quality is low.

4. Central West NSW – Hay Commentary

  • Due to favourable conditions through autumn and winter local demand has been slow.
  • Generally hay supplies are tight right across NSW.
  • With the exception of lucerne prices are unchanged this week due to the slow trading and small quantities of hay not under contract and available for trading. Lucerne price increases are driven by tight supply.
  • Cereal hay: ($280-$300/t). Local cereal hay supplies are very low with trading limited accordingly.
  • Lucerne hay: +$20 ($350-$400/t). Continued interest for all grades of lucerne hay continues to push prices. Supplies are tight but some hay is available in Central West NSW.
  • Straw: -$10 ($110-$130/t). Low volumes being traded saw a slight drop this week, this may pick up as temperatures cool off.
  • Pasture hay: (220-$280/t). There are no reports of pasture hay trading this week due to low supply. There is continued demand for small squares to the pony club market.

5. Bega Valley – Hay Commentary

  • No real changes in prices this week with both buyers and growers all looking at the season ahead.
  • The good growing season to date has seen demand remain fairly slow, however a cold snap could change this quickly.
  • There is particular interest in low-grade hay and straw for roughage.
  • Most hay is being sourced from Victoria. Hay supplies in NSW are very tight.
  • Cereal hay: Steady ($280-$300/t). Prices remain steady this week. Cereal hay can be sourced from Victoria.
  • Lucerne Hay: Steady ($350-$400/t). The market for lucerne hay has picked up slightly but prices are firm due to tight supplies.
  • Straw: ($180-$200/t). Demand for straw remains steady and supplies are starting to come under pressure.
  • Pasture Hay: ($160-$180/t). Trading is starting to pick up for both hay and silage as farmers own supplies start to run low.

6. Goulburn / Murray Valley – Hay Commentary

  • While it has gotten cold and wet in the GV most dairy farmers are utilising paddock feed or home grown fodder rather than buying fodder.
  • The recent wet and cold conditions are likely to drive demand in the coming weeks, with particular interest in cereal hay.
  • Good quality hay of any variety is becoming difficult source, and reports of wet cropping conditions may see both the quantity and quality for the 2014 harvest for some growers impacted.
  • Many growers will be starting to think about cleaning out sheds prior to harvest so more hay may come onto the market as a result.
  • Cereal hay: ($180-$220/t). Limited trading this week with prices remaining steady.
  • Lucerne hay: ($280-$320/t). Trading is slow due to limited supply, and supplies will remain tight throughout winter.
  • Straw: ($90-$110/t). Prices remain unchanged this week. There has been some straw trading over the past few weeks, but supplies could come under pressure later in the year.
  • Pasture hay: ($150-$200/t). There are some reports of small quantities of pasture hay moving between farms.

7. Gippsland – Hay Commentary

  • Demand remains slow due to unseasonably warm temperatures and good availability of paddock feed, however there has been a slight increase in demand for fodder in the past week.
  • Most buyers are currently utilising their own feed supplies before purchasing fodder.
  • Cereal hay: ($240-$260/t). Prices have been softening in Northern and Western Victoria and therefore delivered prices to Gippsland eased slightly this week. Supplies are good in Northern and Western Victoria..
  • Lucerne hay: ($310-$330/t). Supply is low throughout Victoria. Vetch is difficult to source and where it can be found quality is variable.
  • Straw: ($110-$130/t). Some straw is available in Gippsland but quality is variable. Gippsland buyers seeking straw are sourcing it from North Central and Western Victoria, with straw from these regions being priced higher due to freight.
  • Pasture hay: ($180-$220/t). Demand is slow due to good supplies on farm locally. There is a small amount of trade between farms.

8. South West Vic – Hay Commentary

  • Demand for hay is slow with limited trading reported this week and prices remaining steady. Most buyers are opting to utilise pastures and their own fodder supplies rather than buying in hay.
  • The current cold and wet weather is likely to see demand increase, particularly from the dairy sector. Pasture damage from pugging is just starting to be an issue and may see an increase in demand for hay.
  • Some growers are starting to look at clearing out sheds to prepare for the coming seasons crop providing opportunities for buyers
  • Cereal hay: ($160-$180/t). There are good stocks of cereal hay still available in North Western Victoria but quality varies.
  • Lucerne hay: ($250-$280/t). Lucerne is very difficult to find with supplies much lower than usual for this time of year, expected to be tight through winter. Due to the limited supply there is some price volatility for lucerne hay.
  • Straw: ($110-$120/t). Prices and demand remain steady this week. Some straw is available locally and quality is variable.
  • Pasture hay: ($160-$180/t). There are still good supplies of pasture hay available locally but high grade pasture and clover hay is difficult to source.

9. South East SA – Hay Commentary

  • Trading remains slower than expected, a situation not likely to change until the weather cools off.
  • Like Victoria most buyers are opting to use pastures and their own fodder supplies before buying hay.
  • High quality hay of most varieties is becoming difficult to source.
  • Cereal Hay: ($135 -$145/t). Slow trading again this week, no price changes.
  • Lucerne: ($280 – $300/t). Prices remain steady as trading is slow. Supplies are limited.
  • Straw: ($105-$115/t). Straw supplies are low.
  • Pasture Hay: ($135-$155/t). There has been limited trading of pasture hay of late, with prices remaining steady.

10. Central SA – Hay Commentary

  • Demand remains slow this week, with little interest from the dairy industry at current hay prices.
  • With the outlook for the 2014 harvest now looking good, growers are now starting to think about clearing out sheds in preparation. This may see some good opportunities arise for buyers.
  • Cereal Hay: ($150-$200/t). Prices remained steady this week due to minimal trading.
  • Lucerne hay: ($300-$330/t). Supplies are low and lucerne is being sourced from outside the region to meet demand.
  • Straw: ($120- $130/t). There has been little movement in price over the past month. Supplies are good and demand is slow at present.
  • Pasture hay: No reported trading of pasture hay.

11. South West WA – Hay Commentary

  • Hay trading on the domestic market remains slow this week and prices remained steady.
  • Good quality hay in small squares is sought after by the horse and hobby farmer markets but is becoming difficult to source.
  • Cereal hay: ($160-$200/t). Supplies of cereal hay are good this year with mid-grade hay is readily available.
  • Lucerne hay: ($500-$550/t). There is limited lucerne hay available and therefore limited trading.
  • Straw: Steady ($85-$115/t). Prices remain steady but demand is low.
  • Pasture hay: Strong demand for hay earlier in the year is impacting on supply. Supplies are very tight and there was no reported trading of pasture hay this week.

12. North West Tasmania – Hay Commentary

  • With good paddock feed available the hay market has been slow coming into winter but is starting to pick up. With colder weather continuing and some dairy pastures suffering pugging interest in hay should increase in coming weeks.
  • There is particular interest in silage from the dairy and livestock producers. 2013/2014 was a good year for silage production and supplies are good.
  • There are also reports of silage being traded.
  • Quality hay is in short supply in particular lucerne hay is hard to source.
  • Cereal hay: ($220-$240/t). There are limited reports of trading. Supplies are low and quality is variable.
  • Lucerne hay: ($300-$350/t). Demand is steady and supplies are low.
  • Straw: ($140-$160). There is some interest in straw from the dairy industry, generally trading remains steady.
  • Pasture hay: ($180-$200/t). Demand is now starting to pick up and supplies are good but quality is patchy.