GRAIN REPORT

Where You Can Find The Latest Information On The Grain Trade In New Zealand.

Local Market Update

Harvest is over for the year with the yields and quality being well up on the last few years. Farmers are now moving into planning for next seasons crops, with a few already beginning early planting.

Sales are still sluggish, however the price seems to have stabilised, although this can be hard to gauge with a lot more farm to farm sales each with a different set of terms. The drought in the North Island and increasing price of PKE may help to shift demand in grains favour. However, with the level of uncertainty caused by current COVID-19 crisis things can change a lot in a short period of time. The result is the potential for the price to swing either way as these events unfold.

Ruralco is always looking for all types of grain to supply a wide range of end users. If you have surplus or uncontracted grain that you would like to sell, please contact Craig Rodgers or John Scott at Ruralco.

 

 

 

Canterbury Growers Pricing Per Tonne

 

 

Australian Update

COVID-19: GTA calls for communication, consultation

While agriculture appears to be one of the sectors least affected by COVID-19, it is not immune, and Grain Trade Australia (GTA) last week addressed some of the impacts via a webinar, connecting with around 70 of its members online.

Forum moderator GTA chief executive officer Pat O’Shannassy was joined remotely by three industry specialist practitioners in food and beverage business, financial/restructuring advice and employment law.

With a raft of support mechanisms on offer through finance and government channels in response to COVID-19, the take-home message from the webinar was about communicating actively and in depth to keep businesses solvent amid the realities of shutdowns caused by the pandemic.

Change to insolvency rules

Last week, in response to COVID-19, Australia’s laws around insolvency have been relaxed. The first relaxation affects a creditor’s ability to pursue a claim through a statutory demand. “Ordinarily a period of 21 days would need to expire before an insolvency event would be created, and for a creditor to put a company into liquidation for non-payment of a debt,” Grant Thornton restructuring advisory partner John McInerny said.

“That’s been extended out to six months. “The other is relaxation around the insolvent trading regime.”

The regime prior to the COVID-19 changes was that if a company was unable to pay its debts as and when debts were due and payable, the company would be insolvent and any debt incurred after that insolvency date would be a personal liability of a director.

The relief in relation to a claim around insolvent trading has been extended to a period of six months.

“In times like this we are very much looking at ways to protect companies such that they come through the other side,” he said.

Explore restructures/talk with staff

Mr McInerny urged businesses to seek advice early. “In times like this we are very much looking at ways to protect companies such that they come through the other side.” Holman Fenwick Williams special counsel Stephen Schoninger, on the same theme said: “Think laterally, talk to your people, and if there’s a practical solution that works on both sides, do it. It’s going to save the job and the business at the end of the day.”

Mr Schoninger said companies should think carefully before they made decisions around employees, and get a handle on relevant obligations and options in relation to their workers.

He told the webinar that strict laws and a range of issues were coming into play with regard to employees as the impact of COVID-19 unfolded.

In respect of health and safety, he directed participants to the Department of Health hotline for employers.

He also outlined sources of workplace rights and discussed different obligations and entitlements parties have when, for example, a government imposes quarantine on people as compared with quarantine directed by an employer.

He raised concerns about much publicised, and potentially problematic, standing down of workforces at worksite.

Mr Schoninger warned employers not to act unilaterally, but to consult with employees.

“There are going to be lots of practical solutions that you can negotiate with your employees to keep them in work and to preserve business when times are tough over the coming months.”

 Not business as usual

Three months ago the volume of activity in agribusiness was mergers and acquisitions, Australia ranking world number 5 over 5 years, but that’s all changed with the emergence of the global pandemic, according to Grant Thornton national head of food and beverage and agribusiness Tony Pititto who presented the webinar with a short summary of business conditions prevailing in Australia’s food and beverage sector.

“M&A activity has halted to zero.

In the midst of that slowdown in global companies’ interest in our businesses through merger and acquisition, our producers are seeing strong demand for Australia’s food and agriproducts.

“Especially in the areas of dairy, proteins and horticulture the demand is significant and is expected to continue.

“The international demand has however halted, but for the most part Australian producers are still in very strong positions.”

Some difficulty in sourcing raw materials in grains in certain sectors reliant on product from overseas may present opportunities to Australian growers to supply.

 Can manufacturers continue to produce?

“Those issues will be around workforce availability, and should their plants be infected, and what contingency plans they have in place to limit exposure to infection.

“Currently we are not seeing any of that, but it is likely that workforces will be impacted.

“The other thing we will need to watch is the financial position of producers and manufacturers.  This position will be dependent on their customers, how strong their customers are and whether they are going to be able to keep up the cash flow.

“It’s all about cash flow and making sure that cash flow does exist in the business.

“From an industry point of view its really making sure that you are keeping close to your customers, understanding what your customer’s position is because that is going to be the key in terms of being able to continue to supply.”

Feed Wheat Comparison

Feed Barley Comparison

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Update

HIGHLIGHTS

The past month has seen escalating concerns about the global spread of the coronavirus and increasing uncertainty about the longer-term implications for production and consumption. While some commodities have seen a sharp upturn in nearby demand, especially for rice and wheat-based foods, weakening economic conditions could dampen usage in the longer term, particularly for industrial products such as maize-based ethanol and starch. Although import buying of some commodities has accelerated in recent weeks, logistical challenges are being reported as movement constraints and quarantine measures become widespread. Transportation restrictions could also hamper the distribution of farm inputs and disrupt spring fieldwork, however, at this stage, the Council assumes that planting intentions will be fulfilled. Nevertheless, the Council's projections for supply and demand are tentative until the progress and duration of the pandemic become clearer.

The forecast for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2019/20 is lifted by 3m t m/m (month-on-month) to 2,175m, mainly because of an adjustment for maize output in the EU. With consumption trimmed, the figure for total grains stocks is up by 4m t, but inventories are still seen contracting, by 17m y/y (year-on-year) to a four-season low.

This report includes the first full set of supply and demand projections for 2020/21. Total grains production is projected to reach a new peak of 2,223m t, some 2% higher y/y. Because of tighter carry-in stocks, total world grains supply (production plus opening stocks) is placed 1% larger y/y, and with assumed growth in demand, a further small drop in carryover inventories is envisaged. Trade is expected to be a new high, including increased shipments of wheat, maize and sorghum.

Reflecting downgrades for Brazil and Argentina, the 2019/20 world soyabean production forecast is cut by 4m t, to 341m, a 5% y/y fall. The reduction is channeled to lower figures for consumption and carryovers; trimmed by 1m t, to 38m, inventories are seen down by about one-third y/y. Assuming a rebound in US acreage, world output in 2020/21 is predicted to expand by 7% y/y. While stocks may edge up, they are likely to remain tight on low carry-ins and an uptick in demand. Trade is tentatively projected to reach a peak of 157m t, a 3% y/y increase.

The Council’s forecasts for global rice supply and demand in 2019/20 are broadly unchanged m/m, with carryovers rising to a peak of 177m t on accumulation in China and India. Led by acreage increases in major exporters, world rice production in 2020/21 is projected to rise by 2% y/y, to a high of 509m t, with population growth supporting record uptake. Further gains in inventories are anticipated, mainly in key exporter and China. Trade is seen growing by 3% on bigger deliveries to Africa, with India the leading exporter.

The IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) showed little overall change m/m, as initial declines for some of the components were reversed as the month progressed.

OVERVIEW

At 2,799m t, global total grains (wheat and coarse grains) supplies in 2019/20 are forecast to be slightly higher y/y and only fractionally short of the all-time peak two seasons ago, as increased production more than compensates for tighter carry-in stocks. With demand placed at a record level and outstripping the small supply gain, ending stocks are seen shrinking to a four-year low, almost entirely because of a drawdown of maize, particularly in China. Trade is pegged at a new high, including bigger shipments of wheat, maize, barley and sorghum.

In 2020/21, global total grains production is projected to expand to 2,223m t, up by 2% y/y and an all-time high. At this level, overall supply would be a fresh peak, but with assumed growth in consumption, another modest decline in ending stocks is foreseen. Once again, this is mainly linked to a drop in maize inventories in China, which more than offsets an accumulation of that grain in the USA. Wheat stocks are predicted at an all-time high, led by expansions in China and India. Growth of 2% is envisaged for total grains trade, with shipments of maize, wheat and sorghum accelerating.

Centered on a plunge in US output, global soyabean production in 2019/20 is seen falling by 21m t y/y, to 341m. With consumption anticipated at a new peak, stocks are set to tighten sharply as US inventories more than halve. Bigger deliveries to Asia could underpin a 1% y/y gain in global trade. Linked to a potential rebound in the US, world output in 2020/21 is projected at a record of 366m t, up by 7% y/y. With a modest increase in consumption expected, inventories are likely to remain below the recent average. World import demand is tentatively predicted to advance to a high of 157m t.

With record production in India mostly offsetting declines elsewhere, including in China, Thailand and the US, global rice output in 2019/20 is seen little-changed y/y, at 499m t. Consumption is assumed to expand on population growth, with trade rising on buying by importers in Africa. In 2020/21, area gains in Asia are seen underpinning a 2% production increase to 509m t, with total use at a new high. Inventories are projected to expand to a record of 185m t on accumulation in China and India. World trade could rise to a three-year peak on African needs.

 MARKET SUMMARY

With broadly offsetting movements across the main components, the IGC GOI was almost unchanged compared to the February GMR.

The IGC GOI wheat sub-Index gained by 2% m/m, as an uptick in export demand and a spike in consumer buying reversed earlier losses.

With pressure stemming mainly from steep declines in crude oil prices and worsening ethanol production margins, the IGC GOI maize sub-Index fell by 1% compared to late-February.

The IGC GOI rice sub-Index climbed to a more than five-year peak, rising by 4% m/m, on a coronavirus-related surge in consumer demand.

Pulled lower mainly by a sharp drop in prices in Argentina, the IGC GOI soyabeans sub-Index dipped by a net 1%.



Meet Our Experts

 

Craig Rodgers

GROUP MANAGER ON FARM SALES

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

John Scott

John Scott

GRAIN & SEED CO-ORDINATOR

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

Jack Dudley

Jack Dudley

GRAIN & SEED CO-ORDINATOR

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

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