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Feed Market Not Yet Performing

11 March 02 PR28/02
Feed Market Not Yet Performing

The current prices in the South Island feed grain market are not a true indication of the value of feed grain this year, says Neil Barton, Grains Council Chairman.

"Grain drying facilities are stretched to the limit and it is too early to determine the total quantity of feed grain that will be available. Significant tonnages of early wheat and barley will have been downgraded," Mr Barton said

"Storage shortages or possibly cash flow problems are putting growers under pressure to move grain and accept prices that don't reflect the true value of the grain to New Zealand end users.

"Demand for feed grain will increase over last year as the poultry industry expects growth of 8%, and the pork industry is currently riding on a high.

"End users struggled to fill contracts for maize grain this year, as growers have decreased maize grain production in favour of higher value maize silage for the dairy industry.

"Decreased plantings of maize for grain coupled with the poor North Island growing season has given rise to industry estimates that this year's maize grain crop could be 30-40% below last year's tonnage.

"Some end users have been importing Australian barley at $350/t and sorghum at 320/t landed in Tauranga to make up some of the shortfall.

"Growers should be aware that there is a significant market for feed grain in the North Island and may wish to wait for the market to begin functioning properly."

Ends

For more information: Neil Barton, Grains Council, PH 03 688 8238 or 021 441 125 Syd Worsfold, United Wheat Growers Ltd, PH 03 318 8150

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