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Driving Prices Up
- The ongoing dry conditions is parts of QLD and Northern NSW continue to drive demand with local producers not able to meet all of the requirements, most of the demand is being met out of the Riverina, Northern Victoria and South Australia.
- Transport costs continue to play a significant role in the cost of fodder supplies, especially with a lot of demand being supplied from half way across the country. There are also some export opportunities removing some supply from the market.
- Suppressed saleyard prices for cattle are continuing to keep more livestock herds on-farm, and in some cases producers are looking to restock at the lower price, which is placing additional demands on fodder supplies.
Driving Prices Down
- Green feed availability is still moderately high across most of the southern states, which is reducing demand locally. Most growers in those states are moving their supply into the north to meet demand.
- While cattle prices are seeing some producers increase their herds and therefore the demand for fodder supplies, the sheep industry is reportedly reducing the flock size even at a low return which is applying downward pressure on feed prices as herds reduce.
- Feed alternatives such as cotton seeds and almond hulls are still being purchased by farmers seeking cheaper feed. However the current price of cotton seed is beginning to see an increase.
- Older hay supplies continue to be made available to the market as producers clear some space in preparation for the next season. This hay is of variable quality and is reducing the price point in selected regions.
- Trade in hay has increased over the last few weeks, especially out of areas such as VIC and SA where green feed is still available and into drier parts of the county such as the Darling Downs and most of NSW. In WA the south is shipping a reasonable supply up into the drier northern parts of the state.
- Growers and graziers in WA continue to voice concerns around the live export trade and the follow on effects from the possible ban on the trade, with reports many graziers are planning to reduce their flock size.
- The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) El Niño Alert continues. When El Niño Alert criteria have been met in the past, an El Niño event has developed around 70% of the time. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. Climate model forecasts suggest a positive IOD is likely to develop in late winter or early spring. The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index is currently positive and is expected to return to neutral values in the coming week.
- Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.