Market Check Return to WA with Experience
History in WA
Back in 1995 Brett Stevenson exited the financial markets after 12 years, with the view of bringing the skills he had learnt to the agricultural industry. The Wool Reserve Price Scheme was disbanded in 1991 and the domestic grain market deregulated in 1989. The debate about deregulating the National Single Desk was raging. So, Brett and the Market Check team began running workshops for grain growers explaining how futures and options could be used to manage risk and the concept of basis used as a low-risk method of marketing grain.
The workshops were subsidised by FarmBis and were organised through various intermediaries in the eastern states and farm management companies in Western Australia. There were eight groups in Western Australia: Geraldton, Yuna, Mingenew, York, Dowerin, Narrogin, Williams and Kukerin. The groups would meet three times a year for workshops and discussion and Market Check would provide ongoing updates on what the markets, AWB and domestic merchants were doing. This concept continued until 2002. The ’02 drought reduced attendances; however, the killer blow was the Federal Government pulling the funding plug on FarmBis.
The Market Today
A lot has changed in the 16 years since Market Check was forced to close the West Australian groups. Since deregulation in 2008, global correlations in grain prices are now proven and well understood, the AWB is now owned by Cargill and no longer offering their national pool, export destinations for Australian grain have changed and we are now competing in a truly global grain market. We’ve also seen a dramatic change in the domestic structure with domestic grain demand surging above 10 million tonnes and competition from exporters reducing through consolidation or participants exiting the market.
Over this same time, Market Check have not only survived but flourished, continually growing the business despite three record droughts. Today, Market Check is a specialist grain marketing adviser that works exclusively for Australian growers empowering them through its innovative approach to grain marketing and a full-service execution service. Growth and strong returns from their recommended grain marketing strategies across South Australia and the eastern states has naturally led the independent grain marketing business to recommence in Western Australia in 2019.
A New WA Entrant
Market Check founder and current Managing Director, Brett Stevenson said “Our presence in Western Australia this time will be vastly different to 2002. Rather than working on a FIFO basis we will have a full-time office based in Perth. Our integrated, full service grain marketing business will be spearheaded by WA local, Ben Gliddon.”
Ben Gliddon, who hails from Bunbury in Western Australia has over 10 years of domestic and international grain marketing experience. He began his career with Plum Grove before moving to Singapore for seven years with SE Asian flour milling company, The Interflour Group, managing price risk and accumulating wheat for their mills. Ben was drawn to Market check on the back of their strong grower focused culture and unique approach to grain marketing incorporating derivatives year-round. “Market Check has been bench-marking their strategies in each major port zone since 2008 and the returns for Kwinana are quite impressive” said Ben. “His experience will be invaluable to Market Check’s existing strategy team and West Australian growers that we work with” Said Brett.
Market Check’s Membership is the heart of the business and has existed since the business began operation in 1994. The annual Membership subscription fee gives growers access to their exclusive grain marketing insights, price updates and strategies tailored for the WA market. The team provides marketing education, strategic advice, market insights, daily price updates, execution through an allocated advisor, bi-annual regional seminar series and online via their grower portal, MyMarketCheck. Their strategies can be executed through their Grain Agency service, into the cash markets or actively-managed via their Managed Programs. Market Check’s new Perth based office address is Level 29, Forrest Centre, 221 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA, 6000 and Ben Gliddon can be contacted anytime on 08 6313 7929.