Australia: ABB Grain announces 2006/2007 barley pool indicators
ABB Grain has announced on April 13 opening export barley gross pool indicators for South Australia for the 2006/2007 season, of $189/tonne for malting 1 and $170/tonne for feed 1.
The size of the northern hemisphere crop will be a key factor in determining prices for the coming season, with harvest commencing in Europe in July/August and Canada in August/September.
Mixed reports are coming out of Europe, where we expect at least an average crop. In some areas winter kill in European crops will affect the make-up of the harvest in this region. However, slow progress has been made in planting spring malting barley in Germany due to bad weather, while in Russia and Ukraine, planting is about three weeks behind. In other parts of Europe, extra rain in France and Spain has bolstered hopes for better crops.
In regards to feed barley, reports of aggressive pricing for European new crop could affect prices we achieve in markets like Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, the strength in demand for Australian feed barley from December onwards should result in rapid uptake from Middle East and Japanese buyers.
In relation to malting barley, we believe the major market China will not be affected by Europe, and prices will remain relatively firm. Any external influence will be from Canada. While Canadas crop outlook is uncertain, a similar size crop to last year is expected; the quality of which will determine the strength of the Canadian competition.
Exchange rates are still exerting a negative impact, with the Australian dollar/US dollar volatility since October having had a marked impact on the A$ return to growers a factor we have no control over. Currently trading at around US$/A$0.73, any reduction of this will have a positive impact on these returns.
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