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Driving Prices Up
- Western Australia continues to have a very dry start to 2024 which is reducing the available pasture feed for herds and requiring supplemental feeding.
- High cattle and sheep prices and the potential impact on fodder needs are causing some producers to forward contract fodder to ensure they have supplies needed.
- The benchmark price set by exporters looking to fill shipments and to ensure reasonably high volumes of available stock on hand is keeping cereal prices elevated, with a flow on effect to other fodder lines.
Driving Prices Down
- Pastures are green and lush across most of the southern states, reducing the demand for hay in the short term.
- Straw is in abundance across most states with prices reflecting the ready availability of the product.
- Some previous season lower quality cereal hay is available in the market as producers who have had additional fodder producing opportunities look to empty some sheds of older stores.
- Ongoing silage and hay production in most of Victoria, Tasmania and NSW is continuing to add more supply to the market keeping buyers optimistic about availability moving into autumn and winter.
- Western Australia’s hay production for the season is confirmed as being below average with a sizable reduction in yield combined with low rainfall leading to little green feed availability. There is growing certainty there will be some supply constraints in late summer and autumn.
- The Bureau has stated that El Niño continues in the tropical Pacific Ocean. However sea surface temperatures have peaked and are now declining. We are expected to return to neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation levels in the southern hemisphere in autumn 2024. Some atmospheric indicators, such as cloudiness near the Date Line, are close to normal levels. 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.