Driving Prices Up

  • South Australia and Western Australia have now seen good rainfall however it will take some time for that to translate into green feed and reduce demand, so prices remain elevated as demand continues.
  • The price of cattle and sheep has meant some livestock producers are holding on to stock that would normally have been sold, which is requiring more fodder supplies to keep them fed. This is especially true in QLD which has led to fodder supplies being sourced from the southern states at higher premiums.
  • Supply shortages continue to affect the market, keeping prices high. Though this is countered somewhat by reduced sales at the higher price points, however high-quality protein hay is still at a premium.
  • As we move into autumn farmers are looking to build up on-farm supplies for the cooler months ahead.

Driving Prices Down

  • With rain falling in previously dry areas demand has lessened locally for resupply purposes. Some additional hay production and movement of hay has also tempered demand pressures.
  • There is an abundance of feed grain options due to the bumper harvest combined with some adverse weather conditions leading to a downgrade of some grains. Many farmers are buying grains due to concerns regarding the quality of some of the available hay.
  • Hay and straw production continue where conditions are favourable, supplying the local market.

Local News

  • Trade in hay is down in most regions with the recent rains, though hay supplies from Victoria are still moving up to QLD and NT to supply farmers and feedlots. However quite a bit of the demand is being met by feed grain options due to both price and consistent quality.
  • There is expected concern across the livestock sectors, especially sheep graziers in relation to the latest updates on the sheep live export trade. This is mostly in WA but concern about flow on effects across both livestock and fodder industries is widespread. The consultation meetings in WA over the week 17-20 April have not quietened those concerns and have in some cases increased them.
  • Roads and rail repair are still front of mind for a lot of producers, especially in regions that were damaged by floods in 2022. However most local roads need some repair and maintenance, and this is being pushed to local, state, and federal governments with greater frequency.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has stated that the Pacific Ocean is currently ENSO-neutral. However, there are some signs that El Niño may form later in the year. Therefore, an El Niño WATCH is current. This means there is around a 50% chance of El Niño in 2023. General model guidance suggests neutral ENSO will persist through autumn, with indications of potential El Niño development later in the year potentially being reached in May. Long-range forecasts made during autumn typically have lower accuracy than those made at other times of year.
  • Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.