By Colin Grant
Hello to all our many customers and again a lot has happened since our last newsletter update.
The 2018/19 harvest is now complete with the last deliveries of Alfalfa to the cleaning sheds. Overall harvest was a mixed result for a lot of producers, but a continuation of good red meat, wool and hay prices have certainly helped growers.
As reported previously the surface area for Alfalfa Seed production was back by around 40%, however an excellent seed set, and harvest conditions have allowed total volume to be somewhere near long-term averages. We are starting to see some activity in the Middle East market of recent times and while prices have been softer than forecast, inventory levels are starting to reduce but expect prices to start firming in the coming months. A major influence is the USA harvest which is expected to be below average due to current stock and firm hay prices. Other key markets such as Argentina and Europe remain sluggish due to inventory positions but slowly starting to clear.
Rhodes grass demand has started to reduce over the past 2 months which is a normal part of the buying cycle, but early indications are market demand for our PremiumCote and Agricote products will remain strong, so we encourage you to keep in close contact with your sales representative regarding future requirements.
As expected, the white clover harvest in Australia was well down on average and as a result current supplies of Haifa are at very low levels with most of the 2019 crop committed. White clover will be available ex South America, New Zealand and the USA is not far away from its next harvest but reductions in harvest in some of these regions has started to see prices firm.
Woolly pod vetch (Vicia villosa) demand has remained firm in Europe with new crop Capello supplies getting low however we have RM4 in the final stages of registration in Europe and which will replace Capello in time. Other markets such as RSA and USA are steady in demand at this stage.
From an annual clover perspective we did see a reduction of nearly 900mt of clovers leaving Australian shores when comparing 2017 v 2018 calendar year which reflected inventory positions in key markets. Annual clovers such as Persian and Arrowleaf clover are still available but products such as Sub-Clover are again in short supply as strong domestic demand and prices with no price relief in sight for 2020 harvest.
The Heritage sales team will again be attending ISF in Nice and will look forward to seeing you again.
As always look forward to hearing from you should you have any enquiries.