Cotton, Dairy, Rice

NAB Rural Commodities Index continued climb in May

5 June 2017

The Weekly Times
June 5, 2017 10:31am
GOOD grain prices and more favourable global dairy auctions bolstered the agriculture sector last month.

Cotton, wool, and fruit and vegetables also performed well, according to the latest NAB Rural Commodities Index, which was up 1.5 per cent last month.

The index results, released this morning, showed wholesale fruit and vegetable prices were up in May, with fruit prices surging 11.9 per cent and vegetables up a more modest 2 per cent. Tomatoes were a particularly strong performer, up 21 per cent.

NAB agribusiness economist Phin Ziebell said the bank’s weighted dairy export indicator gained 9.1 per cent in May — the best performance since December.

“This is largely due to improved demand from China and earlier flooding in New Zealand, but it’s important to note farm gate prices have not risen to the same extent,” Mr Ziebell said.

“The slow recovery in farmgate prices isn’t supporting an increase in production levels, so opening prices over the next month will be watched closely.”

The latest global data suggested wheat prices may have turned a corner after bottoming out in the second half of last year, though the uplift has so far been small.

“Domestically, old season crop has held its value better than we had expected with mice perhaps a bigger issue than prices in coming months,” Mr Ziebell said.

Fibre prices have continued a steady rise, with wool’s Eastern Market Indicator up 1.6 per cent and cotton prices up 3.2 per cent.

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