Australia agribusiness April 2024: Sowing the seeds for success

Here are the main highlights for some of Australia’s key commodities and economic influences for April. The full report provides an overview of the developments to watch in the upcoming weeks.

Download-full-report

Wheat and barley: Recent announcements of reduced cereal acreage in North America have initiated a partial reversal of bearish price trends, signalling potential price upside. Australia’s current wheat price positions the country as a more competitive player in the global market.

Canola: The oilseeds market showed price improvements on the back of lower stocks, elevated crude oil prices, and the potential disruption in the oilseed coproduct trade between Russia and the EU.

Dairy: Milk production in Australia continues to show signs of sustained recovery. So far this season, milk supply has increased by 3.1%, with growth across all regions. This trend should continue into 2024/25.

Beef: Rain through northern Australia provided support for cattle prices. If seasonal conditions remain favourable, we believe prices will remain around current levels for the coming month.

Sheepmeat: Sheepmeat prices have shown healthy improvements in late March and early April as widespread rainfall totals improved producer demand and weekly slaughter numbers fell in late March.

Cotton: Cotton markets globally softened in March, while local prices, as was the case in February, remained stable. Improved consumption forecasts in March boost demand outlook.

Wool: Wool prices once again remained stagnant and slid marginally in March. Demand is slowly picking up in several markets, but widespread improvement is needed to instigate any price upside.

Consumer foods: Monthly food inflation for Australia slowed to 3.6% YOY in February 2024. Meanwhile, the latest retail data showed a sluggish performance in the food market.

Farm inputs: Global demand for fertilisers remains subdued, and stocks are starting to build in key production countries. There are no signs of a reversal of this trend in the short and medium term.

Interest rates and FX: The Australian dollar rebounded in March, trading a little above 0.6500 against the US dollar. We expect the Australian dollar to trade within a range for the next few months before moving higher as the US Federal Reserve begins to cut interest rates from the middle of the year.

Energy and freight: Crude oil prices rose in March for the third consecutive month. Concerns over Iranian retaliation for an Israeli missile strike are adding risk premia to prices, resulting in oil prices surpassing USD 90/bbl.

  • Stefan Vogel

    General Manager – RaboResearch Australia & New Zealand
    Read more
  • Jen Corkran

    Senior Analyst – Animal Protein
    Read more
  • Anna Drake

    Sustainability Analyst
    Read more
  • Emma Higgins

    Senior Analyst – Agriculture
    Read more
  • Angus Gidley-Baird

    Senior Analyst – Animal Protein
    Read more
  • Pia Piggott

    Analyst – Associate Analyst
    Read more
  • Michael Harvey

    Senior Analyst – Dairy & Consumer Foods
    Read more
  • Vítor Caçula Pistóia

    Grains & Oilseed Analyst
    Read more
  • Edward McGeoch

    Associate Analyst – Agri Commodities
    Read more