Farmers were concerned across WA last week when the price of barley dropped by about $30 per from $330 per ton and markets in NSW had dropped by around $60!
So why the sudden decline?
A number of factors have contributed to the fall in price, which has been viewed by the industry as more of a correction rather than a complete crash.
Prices had been hovering around record highs, with a shortage of grains in the drought-ridden Eastern States driving demand. Livestock farmers have shied away from the inflated prices and preferring the purchase of other grains such as wheat and sorghum, which are relatively cheaper than barley.
Chris Russel is an agricultural expert and analysed the current price situation on the Sean for Breakfast Show.
“The price for January, the difference between wheat and sorghum got close to $90 per ton (around $480 per ton), which would stimulate demand”
Farmers are also looking to overseas markets to meet their needs. Chris Russell again.
“A number of feedlots are looking to import grains from overseas at the moment… (which) also puts a floor in the price”
However, Mr. Russell had a reassuring message to farmers trying to offload their barley.
“The expectation of the industry is it’s likely to recover a bit for January.”
Just in time for the new year!
To hear Sean's entire chat with Chris Russell, please navigate to the end of the podcast featured below!