Feedgrain Focus: Transport squeeze lifts prices

THE transport sector’s focus on getting grain to export has seen prices in the nearby domestic market rally by up to $7 per tonne this week as consumers struggle to book trucks to deliver to their mills. From the Darling Downs of Queensland to southern Victoria, trade sources report domestic prices have kicked on local logistics rather than global drivers. They say eastern Australia’s trucks and trains are cycling flat out into ports to fill vessels with wheat, barley, canola and sorghum. This has coincided with a further contraction in grower interest in selling now that seeding of the winter crop has gathered pace.

Interruptions to rail services in New South Wales have increased the call on road freight in the near term, and trucks are also busy backloading with fertiliser and soil ameliorants ahead of winter-crop planting which will take place into June. One trader in southern NSW said the demand for backloading was likely to abate by early May. “If trucks aren’t having to wait to load with fertiliser or lime or gypsum after they’ve tipped grain, they should be able to get in an extra two or three loads a week,” the trader said.

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