This time last year...
For the fortnight up to the 23rd of February 2021.
It was near to the day, this time last year, that the demand for Hay dried up overnight and hasn't recovered since. Amazing when you look at the volumes sold over the last twelve months and compare that to the twelve months previous to that. Chalk and cheese, or cheese and chalk, whichever way you look at it.
If I remember correctly, demand stopped in the build-up to a predicted massive rain event, which secured rain for drought ravished parts of NSW and Queensland. Since then, alot of water has passed under the bridge. Some of the things that happened are:
- It rained at the perfect time for many, which allowed grass to grow.
- It was the ideal time for Farmers to scratch in some Oats or something that would provide instant feed.
- After a few follow-up rains, Farmers who were previously in drought started buying up Hay making Equipment for their own use.
- This continued right up until Hay making, as many vowed they would never get caught again buying expensive Fodder from the South.
- The season continued in many areas, which gave the ability for Farmers to put Hay or Silage away for the not-so-rainy days.
- For those mainly in Queensland who got a bit dry, the scenario was much better as they could source cheaper Hay not that far away.
- Sheep and Cattle price got expensive, feeding expensive Livestock is more palatable than feeding cheap ones.
- The restocker market went into overdrive on the back of the grass boom, which has continued.
- The Hay season in the South was interrupted by wet weather, and the quality of Hay that has come from this season is poor.
- Many Farmer who would usually cut a few paddocks for Hay decided not to and went the Grain option instead.
- As it stands today, one year on, demand has stayed at a low ebb, and prices have progressively come off.
That is the last twelve months in a nutshell. Lucky for many that Hay making is usually part of an enterprise mix or an opportunistic pursuit and not necessarily to be relied upon and a core income generator.
We watch with interest as to how it's going to play out. If it's another good season, then demand will remain weak.
What's happened to Hay prices over the last fortnight?
We think Vetch Hay prices might have retreated slightly from the $180 a tonne a fortnight ago. Good quality stuff is making just over the $200 a tonne mark.
Cereal Hay is in low demand and starts at $100a tonne and work up from there depending on the quality.
Straw sales dried right up in the last fortnight.
Lucerne Hay is selling in the $240 a tonne to $255 a tonne range.
We go around the grounds to see what our Farm Tender Salespeople have to say:
Paul Grayling - Mallee, Vic based
Paul said - Very quite on the Hay front at the minute, with the only movement that I have seen is Protein Hay. Pricing is as good as its been from a buyers point of view for a very long time. The age-old supply and demand scales are well and truly tipped the buyers way. Things are starting to dry out a bit, and with the summer winding up, things could pick up as we move into the cooler months ahead.
Shane Ruyg - Queensland based
Shane said - We are starting to see a few more enquiries come through for Hay but from a sales perspective, its still pretty light on. Seeing more people drop their pricing with alot of Hay and Straw stored outside, plus the added problem with mice in some areas. Vetch Hay (Protein) seems to be the most popular still when it comes to enquiries.
Mike Pickard - Darling Downs, Qld based
Mike said - Small loads selling in New South Wales and Queensland to fill sheds for the Winter, as one purchaser put it, " just topping up the shed ". There is a little bit of buyer interest in Hay with water-soluble carbohydrates greater than 20%. Other than that, there is not a lot to mention about the Hay market.
Jackie Elliott - South West, Vic based
Jackie said - With a warm week of weather across Victoria, hay enquiries are still low with not much to report on. Some keen sellers have reduced shedded Vetch Hay by $40/mt in the Northern Country of Victoria.
Talk soon, EOM
For more information on selling or buying Hay contact the following:
Paul Grayling – 0447 069 082 or [email protected]
Shane Ruyg – 0447 922 604 or [email protected]
Mike Pickard – 0429 677 636 or [email protected]
Jackie Elliott - 0400 808 550 or [email protected]
Murray Jones (WA only) - 0474 808 160 or [email protected]
Or 1300 Farming (1300 327 646)
Need to buy something? Try DelayPay
Payment terms for buyers and a spendable credit limit in 24 hours, go to www.delaypay.com.au. If you are keen to know more ring Kelsey 0409 117 730 or Dwain 0427 011 900
**List your commercial Sheep, Cattle, Rams or Bulls on our new Farm Tender Livestock Exchange (powered by Farm Tender). Starting at 1% commission if you sell. Reach between 8000 - 10,000 potential customers per day. Contact our Livestock Marketing Agent Hannah Anderson on 0429 479 072 for more information