Local Market Update


  • Autumn cereal planting is under way. At this stage it is too early to predict the number of hectares in the ground.
  • 2021 harvest results varied in both quantity and quality, making it difficult to source high grade grain.
  • Feed barley price is still trading marginally above feed wheat price.
  • Good autumn pasture growth on dairy platforms, however lack of rain has affected winter crops in dryland areas.
  • PKE spot price is sitting around $340 per tonne ex store, forward contract product sitting around $325/t ex store.
  • Industry buyers remain cautious in pricing of 2021 harvest grain.
  • Tentative wheat pricing for 2022 supply contracts is looking marginally up on 2021 level.


Ruralco are always looking for grain to supply a wide range of end users. Drop in your sample at any Ruralco Store, or call the Ruralco Customer Service Centre on 0800 787 256 to arrange sample bags or pick up. For queries about free or uncontracted grain that you would like to sell please contact the Ruralco Seed Team, or request a call back below.


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Canterbury Growers Pricing Per Tonne*


Import Pricing Per Tonne*

*Pricing at 1 May 2021.



Meet Our Experts

Craig Rodgers


@: Craig.Rodgers@ruralco.co.nz
Ph: 027 495 2029


John Scott


@: John.Scott@ruralco.co.nz
Ph: 027 227 7048


Jack Dudley


@: Jack.dudley@ruralco.co.nz
Ph: 027 238 9014


Australian Update

Feedgrain Focus: Tight logistics, grower absence lift bids

Prices for wheat, barley and sorghum have rallied in eastern Australia this week as traders and consumers battle to get growers to sell, and road freight remains tight.

While north-west Victoria and parts of South Australia are still waiting for planting rain, most growers in New South Wales and Queensland are flat out getting their winter crops into the ground.

In Queensland and northern NSW, many are also harvesting summer crops, and are therefore unable to take grain to port or metropolitan consumers in their own trucks.

This is putting pressure on transport operators and creating a spike in the road-freight market.

As one commentator said this week, spot loads are “nosebleed expensive”.


This week


Barley Downs May


Up $4

Barley Melbourne May


Up $12

Barley Melbourne January



Sorghum Downs May



Wheat Downs April-May


Up $10

Wheat Melbourne May


Up $22

Wheat Melbourne January




Up-country pinch in south

Grain exports out of NSW and Victoria are continuing at a cracking pace, and major transport operators are busy taking grain from farms and bulk storages to port.

Trains are also playing their part, but the absence of grower deliveries is being felt now that most have picked up all the cropping inputs they need to plant their winter crop.

The upshot is that prompt bids have risen $5-$10 per tonne for wheat and barley, with tight road-freight driving the rise.

“Trucks are an issue up and down the east coast,” GeoCommodities broker Brad Knight said.

“It’s definitely sparked increased buying interest from exporters who needed to buy grain, and domestics who have been buying hand to mouth, as well as speculative buyers based on our basis being very low.”

Mr Knight said the rally of the past two weeks has attracted some grower selling, and the bottleneck for grain transport is now being felt up-country.

While earlier months had the supply chain working hard to avoid chokes going into ports and container packers, a shortage of trucks available to do farm pick-ups is putting short-term pressure on the supply chain.

“Farmers are sowing, and that’s taken their trucks off the road.”

Growers in southern NSW and parts of Victoria are looking for additional rain to keep planting.

“If we don’t get rain in the next two weeks, and we see nothing on the forecast, anxiety levels will be increasing.”

The trade is doing a small amount of new-crop selling, but growers are by and large yet to be seen.

“Grower selling is largely non existent.”

Godde’s Grain and Fertiliser trader Peter Gerhardy said spot freight rates for longer road hauls from southern NSW are up by 25-50 per cent on limited truck availability.

“Logistics is playing a huge role at the moment,” Mr Gerhardy said.

“With the pretty heavy export program at all the terminals, road freight is in high demand.

“It really had to come into play on the back of a huge crop, and the Victorian and southern NSW market has rallied considerably in the past 10 days by probably $10-$17/t.

“The market for July-August isn’t reflecting that.”

Mr Gerhardy estimated around 60 per cent of the Riverina crop was planted, with canola and longer-season wheats mostly up and away.

“We’re starting to run out of moisture now, but there’s the chance of 5-10 millimetres of rain next week, and that’s really all we’d need to get going again.”


North struggles

If trucks are difficult to get from central NSW south, trade sources report they are nigh on impossible to book in the north.

However, this is expected to improve in the coming week as the market focus shifts away from delivering sorghum to Brisbane for bulk export.

Goldstar Commodities director Geoff Webb said the wheat and barley market was volatile but up overall, and logistics into this week are difficult.

“The market is varying depending on the buyer, the destination, and the day.

“You can’t get trucks; freight’s difficult.

“Logistics are dictating where the market is, and growers are off doing other things.”

That includes carting cotton, which is now being picked and delivered to gins in southern Queensland and northern NSW.

Top-grade sorghum remains in high demand, and is trading at up to $370/t delivered Brisbane, around $65/t above the Downs market.

This much-inflated premium between origin and port reflects high freight rates and covering of the last of the short positions to fill bulk export demand.

On the Downs, second-grade sorghum is trading at around $250/t delivered, and has some tolerance for sprouting caused by recent rain.


Feed Wheat Comparison



Feed Barley Comparison


World Update


Mainly because of an increase for maize, the forecast for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2020/21 is 2m t higher m/m (month-on-month), to 2,226m, up 2% y/y (year-on-year). The supply boost is absorbed by greater use, including higher feeding of wheat and larger industrial usage of maize, leaving projected stocks broadly unchanged m/m. As an upgrade for barley is outweighed by cuts for wheat and maize, the figure for global trade is fractionally lower m/m. The outlook for total grains supply and demand in 2021/22 is barely changed m/m.

Largely tied to an upgrade for Brazil, the forecast for 2020/21 soyabean production is increased by 1m t m/m, to 362m, up by 7% y/y. With the outlook for consumption broadly steady, inventories are raised to 47m t (-5m y/y). Trade is lifted slightly to a peak of 171m t (+1m). The projection for 2021/22 global output is maintained at a record of 383m t but, due to larger opening stocks, supplies are placed marginally higher m/m. The supply increase is absorbed by uprated consumption, leaving stocks unchanged m/m, at 50m t (+3m). Trade is projected at 173m t (+2m).

Due to a fractional upward revision to consumption, the forecast for world rice stocks in 2020/21 is trimmed by 1m t, to 173m, marginally lower y/y. Reflecting a smaller figure for carry-ins and a reduced production outlook, 2021/22 global availabilities are trimmed m/m, resulting in a 1m t cut to carryovers, to 176m (+3m y/y); within the total, exporters’ stocks are lowered to 40m (+2m y/y). Trade in 2022 is predicted steady y/y, at 46m t.

With strong gains for all the components other than rice, the IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) rose by 8% m/m, to its highest since mid-2013.



An increase in global total grains (wheat and coarse grains) supply in 2020/21 of 36m t is expected to be outweighed by a 44m rise in consumption, leaving stocks 8m smaller y/y, at a five-year low of 609m. The drop in stocks is mainly because of another drawdown for maize, to the least in eight years, which contrasts with a build-up for wheat to a record. Trade is seen reaching a new high of 416m t (+21m y/y).

Led by increases for wheat (+16m t) and maize (+52m), only partly offset by decreases for barley, oats and rye, world total grains production in 2021/22 is projected to climb by 61m, to a record 2,287m. With the net increase in supply (+52m t), matched by the rise in use, world stocks are expected to stay at 609m at the end of 2021/22. However, inventories of maize are expected to fall again, to a nine-year low, while further accumulation is foreseen for wheat. Total grains trade is projected to be the second highest ever, at 409m t.

Underpinned by bigger crops in the US and Brazil, global soyabean output in 2020/21 is forecast 7% higher y/y. Nevertheless, with an expected solid increase in consumption, stocks are seen falling for the second consecutive season, including US carryovers contracting by 80% y/y. After surging in the previous year, global trade is seen increasing only marginally, albeit to a new peak. With high prices expected to elicit a supply response, 2021/22 world output is tentatively placed at a record of 383m t (+6% y/y). Consumption is expected to climb further, while modest inventory accumulation is likely. World import demand is projected at a fresh high.

Reflecting larger crops in Asia, world rice production in 2020/21 is estimated at a new high, with record utilisation resulting in a marginal tightening of inventories. Global output in 2021/22 is projected to increase by 1% to a new peak, including larger outturns in India and China. Population growth should lift food use in Asia, taking consumption to a fresh high, with carryovers predicted at a peak of 176m t. Trade is projected at 46m t in 2022, little-changed y/y, with firm demand from buyers in Africa again likely to be a central feature.



The IGC GOI climbed by 8% m/m, to an eight-year high, as weather worries and tightening supply outlooks sparked solid gains in maize, wheat, soyabean and barley export prices.

Boosted by heightened uncertainty about inclement weather in parts of the northern hemisphere and strength in rowcrops, the IGC GOI wheat sub-Index soared by a net 10%.

The IGC GOI maize sub-Index rallied by 13%, buoyed by concerns about worsening crop prospects in Brazil, slow US sowing and firm US cash markets.

Pressured mainly by soft buying interest and a seasonal increase in availabilities, the IGC GOI rice sub-Index fell by 3% m/m.

The IGC GOI soyabeans sub-Index gained by 7% on tightening US supplies, USDA's smaller than expected 2021/22 plantings figure and broad-based strength across global vegetable oil markets.

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