Empowering Australian Growers

Australian Grain Review

Market Check publishes the Australian Grain Review (AGR), Australia’s most widely read independent magazine for Australian growers dedicated to grain markets and relevant wider industry news. The magazine is distributed annually with content created by Market Check staff and key industry experts with the goal of bridging the gap between growers and the wider global grains marketplace.

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Current Issue

Harvest Issue 2023
The 2023 Australian Grain Review has a heavy focus on wheat, it is after all the largest crop we produce by some margin. Only once in the last 35 years does the sum of all other winter crop production exceed the amount of wheat produced in any given season. We’ve called in some favours and stacked the deck with some outstanding market commentators, while our very own Market Check Team have contributed throughout. Of particular markdown interest to all grain growers is Rachelle Nowland’s article about CGT concession traps and the misconceptions around deferring income from grain sales. For those looking for a well-rounded, comprehensive review of the current wheat markets, articles from Dr Rory Deverell (Black Silo Consulting) and Mike O’Dea (StoneX) will be especially useful. I encourage all growers heading into harvest to take the time to read this edition, as it will provide a comprehensive view of what the grain markets are doing and what will drive prices going forward. A special thanks also must go to the Market Check team for putting this together, especially our Marketing Coordinator Anneka Graham, COO Tim Phelps and CFO Tom Basnett. We hope you enjoy reading!

Past Issues

Harvest Issue 2022
Australian grain and oilseed production is forecast to be well above average for the third consecutive season in a row this season. ABARES has pegged total grains, oilseeds and pulse production for last season at an all-time high of 67.55MMT, which followed a well above-average production year for the 2020-21 season at 55.01MMT. The 2022-23 national winter crop is widely forecast to be well above 50MMT with a bumper summer crop also potentially on its way if the weather permits it. Australian growers did an extraordinary job of capitalising on a decent season in 2021 to harvest the largest winter crop on record. Strong harvest selling, combined with healthy export margins, encouraged exporters to book a large portion of export capacity well into 2022. We then heard on the 24th of February news of Russian forces moving into Ukraine and markets reacted wildly to the upside. International prices for wheat and canola remain elevated from a historical perspective and with so much uncertainty still lingering over the supply from the Black Sea region, these markets will remain susceptible to wild volatility moving into 2023. Keeping all this in mind, it is no surprise that many articles in this issue of the AGR focus on the Russia/Ukraine war and its implications for grain markets.

Harvest Issue 2021
Following two drought seasons, Australian growers have produced a record crop for the 2020-21 season at 59 million tonnes (Mt) and, if realized, latest estimates will see this season’s crop be even bigger. In its September Agricultural Outlook, ABARES forecasted Australian farmers to produce a record $73 billion of gross value during the 2021-22 season driven by favourable seasonal conditions, strong prices for grains, oilseeds, cotton, sugar and livestock. The value of grains, oilseeds & pulse production on its own is forecast to jump to a record $20.4 billion. This will be the highest gross value crop on record and is an amazing turn-around of events from only 2 years ago – the stars have really aligned this season for Australian farmers. In this issue we examine the extraordinary value of the two consecutive seasons of the Australian grain crop and look at how we got here and if it can it be sustained.

Harvest Issue 2020
What a year! It kicked off with the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires following 2 years of severe drought across the East Coast of Australia. This was all overshadowed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which rattled established social norms with travel restrictions, isolation requirements and sent global markets into a frenzy. We are now facing the largest NSW winter crop on record and the third largest national wheat crop in the past 20 years based on average estimates and early harvest yield reports pegging the crop at around 29 Mt. So, with all this in mind we have sought contributing editors to focus on demand for Australian wheat into traditional destinations in South-East Asia, an update on the Chinese political situation, an insight into the EU rapeseed situation and many other great articles to read. Our cover story is written by Walgett farmer Angus Remond, who describes how he and his family have survived the recent drought and the turn-around they have witnessed this season. Enjoy the read!

Harvest Issue 2019
Across Australia, winter crops are a mixed bag with the best crops in VIC offsetting another extremely bad production year in NSW and QLD. The SA winter crop is larger but WA is down around 40% from the record crop produced last season. The increased volatility in growing conditions for Australian crops has naturally led to volatility in prices which has had the knock-on effect of changing the demand dynamics for Australian grain. So, given the massive market changes over the past few years, we have feature articles on the evolution of the Australian grains industry and the trade war dynamics surrounding China. Argentina’s rise in the Asian wheat markets warranted an article, as well as the decreasing canola stocks situation in the EU and the potential for container exports from VIC. We then have articles focusing on the changing demand dynamics for Australian wheat, our regular commodity outlooks from the team as well as many other relevant and insightful articles.

Sowing Issue 2019
The 2018/19 wheat crop is now in the bin and most analysts have production at around 17 million tonnes (mt), a 17% drop on the previous season and a 50% drop from only 2 years ago. This has been a truly remarkable season so far with many supply chain participants innovating and collaborating to manage the new trade flows across the country. In this edition of the AGR we have articles covering the China investigation into claims of anti-dumping of Australian barley and the recent outbreak of African Swine Fever. Given the recent volatility in grain prices, we’ve also included articles covering how put options can be used to manage forward price risk and what implications the US ‘prevent plant’ insurance policy may have on the US corn market. We hope you enjoy the many articles and receive some follow-up rain and (at least) an average crop this coming season.

Harvest Issue 2018
This year has been a tough season to say the least for many Australian farmers and a massive shift in grain markets from just two years ago. Given the season and the current market structure, we have chosen editors and articles focusing more on the domestic market and growers in marginal areas who have faced these hardships before. We hope you enjoy the 2018 Harvest issue of the Australian Grain Review as we try and raise the bar in terms of professional advice and education to empower growers in grain markets.

Sowing Issue 2018

Given the evident global production issues and the volatile geo-political backdrop, price risk management and understanding relative value is now more prudent than ever. Therefore, we’ve chosen articles in this AGR issue covering new instruments for protecting wheat prices, views on the relative value of canola compared to European canola (MATIF) by a large domestic canola crusher, and how to be innovative with your grain marketing around on-farm storage. Nick Carracher from INTL FCStone has written an interesting feature article on the bumpy road that is the China–US trade war and potential implications for grain prices, plus much more. We hope you enjoy.

Harvest Issue 2017
It has been a rollercoaster this year in the Australian grains market and an even bigger edition of the AGR. Given the big shift in pricing dynamics, we have articles in this issue that are focusing more on the future of the Australian grain supply chain. Some of the articles covering the domestic market include the analysis of the seasonal changes in the market, understanding domestic drawing arcs, and how the market is rationing demand. Our features include the analysis of domestic supply chain, Chinese agricultural policies and the potential implications for Australia plus the ACCCs investigation into Murray Goulburn's poor milk returns and the potential parallels in the Australian grain market. We hope you enjoy the read and gain some valuable information.

Sowing Issue 2017
Welcome to the second edition of the Australian Grain Review (AGR), and what a season it has been so far. In this issue we have covered what we feel are three big topics of conversation within the grains market as feature articles. The Market Check team catch up with two industry professionals and learn about what it is like working as a trader. Important topics are covered including the big increase in the demand for silo bags as an on-farm storage option, “debunking the myths” around the perception of correlations between Australian wheat and US wheat futures and much more.

Harvest Issue 2016
The first edition of the bi-annual AGR covers a wide range of topics relevant to the Australian grain market from a variety of industry professionals and information partners, both locally and internationally. Important topics covered include low flat price environments, including new export opportunities for wheat, Chinese demand for Australian feed grains, thinking strategically at harvest and much more.