NAB Rural Commodities Wrap: April 2019

Overall, the NAB Rural Commodities Index fell 2.7% in March, largely reflecting lower cattle, grain and fruit prices.

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Our podcast series continues this month. I chat to NAB Agribusiness Manager Debbie Lever about Australia’s seafood industry. Listen below.

 

Key Points

  • We are now a quarter of the way through 2019, and beyond frankly troubling reflections about the rapid passage of time, winter planting is now almost here and many in southern Australia are really chasing rain. Up north, the situation is more mixed, with parts of Queensland seeing useful rain but the top end still very dry.
  • Dry conditions saw cattle prices fall to lows not seen since late 2014 last month, although good rainfall in Queensland and northern New South Wales saw the market rebound (although prices have tailed off a little recently). A good break in the south would likely see further upside, although there are real risks in the market should dry conditions continue. Producers would find another year feeding a major challenge. Lamb has fared much better, reflecting strong demand overseas and wool continues to perform well.
  • The coming season is at the forefront of grain growers’ and customers’ minds alike. While eastern states grain has eased from very high levels at the end of year, (wheat has fallen from the mid-$400s range to the mid to high $300s), prices remain well above global benchmarks. If tough seasonal conditions persist, prices are likely to remain elevated.
  • Global Dairy Trade auction results continue to perform, although high input costs – especially in northern Victoria – continue to cause major issues for the sector. Meanwhile, low irrigation water availability will likely limit cotton plantings once again.
  • Overall, the NAB Rural Commodities Index fell 2.7% in March, largely reflecting lower cattle, grain and fruit prices.

Learn more in the Rural Commodities Wrap April 2019