Record prices for wheat

The pool price for wheat has surged to record levels overnight, as local farmers struggle to strip a crop and their counterparts in Canada and the US face shrinking stocks.

The Australian wheat board, AWB Limited has lifted estimates for the benchmark, Australian Premium White wheat, by $20, to $282 a tonne.

David Johnston manages the national pools for AWB, and he agrees that returns could go even higher, to $300 a tonne. “It's not beyond the realms of expectations but I was going to say it's a long way to go and this market has been extremely volatile so we are going to see big swings in price over time.

“How the Australian crop finishes, and how the US crop gets into the ground is going to be the key driver to prices in the coming months.”

Don’t get carried away – analyst

It all sounds good for farmers likely to deliver grain to the silo, but they'd be well advised not to get too carried away with the pool price.

That's the advice from analyst, Robert Imray, general manager of the Toowoomba-based firm, Farmarco.

Mr Imray says farmers should have a good idea of how much they'll harvest, before rushing to lock in cash or pool prices for their crop. “There certainly is some fuel in the market. In the east coast markets, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, to a degree parts of South Australia, there's very much a domestic premium in the market and I don't think that's going to disappear anytime soon.

“Growers can be reasonably comfortable going into harvest knowing that prices may not be at these record levels but certainly will be well up there and knowing that having gone into harvest that the pool is going to be a general backdrop should prices come down.”