Driving Prices Up
  • Though some parts of the inland and south east coast of Western Australia have seen very heavy rainfall, in some places leading to flooding, the south west area remains stubbornly dry, with minimal falls that are just enough to aid in the degradation of dry feed.
  • Most of Victoria, South Australia and parts of Tasmania are seeing the effects of on-going warm and dry conditions with pastures drying out and feed availability dropping. Recent rains may see some turnaround however additional rains and time will be needed to see any green pick in dryland pastures.
  • Exporters remain a player in the marketplace continuing to provide a baseline price for a wide range of cereal fodder supplies.
Driving Prices Down
  • Most of QLD and coastal NSW are continuing to see good timely rains mixed with warm conditions keeping pastures moving along and supplying feed options, which is tempering immediate demand.
  • Given the dry conditions, some growers are finding a market for weather damaged hay, which had been stored unprotected outside, at a lower price point, bring the average price down or offsetting price spikes for those lines
  • A good hay season this year in parts of the eastern states has seen hay sheds filling, with buyers now having more availability and a lessening of the supply constraint. This may turnaround if dry conditions persist.
Local News
  • Tasmania’s position has had a sharp turnaround in the last few weeks with lack of rainfall seeing a quick reduction in available pasture feed.
  • As the dry conditions continue in WA the pressure on sheep flocks and the future of the industry in the face of the live export market issues are affecting the future plans of graziers, with many selling stock into the eastern states or choosing to reduce the numbers expected to lamb in the spring. This will have a flow on effect to fodder demand.
  • The Bureau has stated El Niño continues and is near its end. Climate models indicate sea surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific are expected to return to ENSO-neutral later in autumn 2024, probably by the end of April. The typical drying influence of El Niño on Australia’s climate usually reduces during summer, especially in the east; however, below median rainfall is still often observed in north-east Australia. As we have seen this year and through historical data, high-impact rainfall events can occur during El Niño years, particularly during October to April when severe storm frequency peaks.
  • Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.