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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.
- Some areas which have seen good rainfall, have not had sunshine and warmth to bolster growth and soil temperatures remain low, which has led to an increase in demand for hay.
- 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.
- More livestock and dairy farmers are looking to lock in winter feed options and are generating some early interest and demand.
Driving Prices Down
- There is continued confidence from producers that pasture growth will supply feed for stock and has led to lessening of demand 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.
- The quality of available hay varies quite significantly with high quantities of lower quality on the market than usual due to delayed harvesting last season, this lowers the average price point.
- The cotton harvest in QLD and Northern NSW is taking up a significant portion of the transport options in the region, reducing the availability for deliveries of other produce, including on-demand fodder supplies. Couple this with roads that are still damaged from earlier floods and delayed routine maintenance, this is leading to a delay in deliveries across the board.
- 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.
- Concerns continue to be voiced in WA in relation to the live export trade, with many graziers as well as others in the supply chain indicating that the information that is being provided is not sufficient and that there is a feeling that the real-world concerns of those producers are not being heeded.
- 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.