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Driving Prices Up
- While there have been some good rains in the drier parts of the country over the last few weeks, the pastures remain dry and brown for the most part and fodder continues to be in demand from both producers and feed-lotters.
- Transport costs continue to be high for fodder being moved from the south to the north so many producers are looking to source as close to home as possible while still meeting quality requirements. These transport costs are continuing to add a cost premium to fodder supplies.
- Exporters are continuing to source cereal hay throughout the country and looking for good parcels for which they are willing to pay premium prices. This is providing a base line for cereal hay which will need to be met by local buyers who are looking to buy these lines.
Driving Prices Down
- Local good quality pasture availability, especially in the south of the country is keeping demand reduced. Some of these good pastures have been flipped to silage production which is further easing demand.
- The continuing reduction in the size of the beef herd and sheep flocks is applying downward pressure on prices as demand wanes in local areas, though this is somewhat countered by increased requests from feedlots.
- Silage and hay is being cut throughout the regions which is bringing about some over the fence selling and local repeat customer supply, which leads to much reduced transport costs.
- Prices appear to be stabilising in a number of regions with the buyers and sellers finding common ground on the cost and quality.
- Exporters are sourcing good quality Oaten hay from across the country as the hay season moves through the regions, with plenty of trucks moving through the southern states to port.
- The amount of agricultural land which has been affected by fires in NSW and QLD is continuing to come in, with some growers having lost a fair amount of feed paddocks and increasing stock losses. Some small relief and donation deliveries of fodder are already being arranged.
- The south coast of NSW continues to be a hay hotspot as the dry conditions and very low pasture growth drive demand. There are continued reports of dairy farmers in the area either destocking or drying out cows to reduce requirements in the short term.
- The Bureau has declared that an El Niño and a positive IOD are underway. The declaration of these events, and their concurrence over spring, reinforces the Bureau’s long-range rainfall and temperature forecasts, which continue to predict warmer and drier conditions for much of Australia over the next three months. The confirmation of an established El Niño increases the likelihood that the event will be sustained through the summer period. Models indicate further warming is likely and that this El Niño is likely to persist until at least the end of February.
- Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.