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Peter Fulton-Kennedy, with his dog Jacko, in the chickpea crop at "Downs", Narrabri.
Australia.- SEASONAL uncertainty, a drop in demand from the Indian subcontinent and a strong Australian dollar has led to a quiet market for chickpeas, but the industry is expecting improved prices by harvest. AgVantage Commodities managing director Steve Dalton, Narrabri, said Australia had been busy with exports in the first half of this year, but with that supply and the Indian crop being harvested in April and May, demand had slowed. Old crop chickpeas are fetching $830 a tonne delivered Brisbane and $820/t to Newcastle, while new crop chickpeas are trading at $740/t at Narrabri. 

 That’s up to $180/t less than in May, when old crop chickpeas were trading more than $1000/t and new crop more than $900/t delivered to Brisbane. “We’ve got fair bit of product arriving in the subcontinent and they’re looking to consume what's being delivered at the moment,” Mr Dalton said.​ “We’ve just come off the back of Ramadan on the subcontinent and it’s traditionally a time when the market goes quiet – a lot of product is already arriving to satisfy demand. We expect demand to pick up as the subcontinent will be looking for chickpeas before they harvest their crop next year so there will be increased demands in September and October, in time for our new crop. “The price will reflect quality produced in Australia as well as supply from other countries.” Yield uncertainty has led to very little forward selling.

 “Traditionally we would be seeing a lot more forward selling at this time, but growers have been used to much higher prices in the last couple of years, so that’s partly due to the price decline, as well as the uncertainty of their ability to produce a crop,” Mr Dalton said. Dry weather in northern NSW and southern Queensland means some growers could already be making plans to spray out crops, but the season’s not over yet, Mr Dalton said. “It’s not looking great, but chickpeas will hold on and they don't use a lot of moisture until they start to flower.

While yields are looking to be affected, there's still time for rain. In Northern NSW, unless you’re east of the Newell Highway, soil moisture is very patchy and crops are in desperate need of rain.” Mr Dalton said he would expect improved prices if the crop has a tough finish. Pulse Australia estimates the crop to be close to 1.1 million hectares earlier this month, similar to the 2016 crop, but production is expected to be about 1.5 million tonnes. “There’s potential for 1.5 million tonnes, but there’s still a long way to go until harvest,” industry development agronomist Paul McIntosh said. Spreading risk with chickpeas at Narrabri P

LANTING chickpeas at three different properties has helped grower Peter Fulton-Kennedy spread risk, allowing his Narrabri chickpeas to make up for disappointing crops at Bellata. Mr Fulton-Kennedy planted 1600 hectares of chickpeas, but expects to harvested about 1300ha following dry weather on his properties east and west of Bellata. “There’s another 480ha that’s marginal and looks okay at the moment,” he said. The silver lining for the grower is a decent crop at “Downs”, Narrabri, which has received small falls of rain since planting in mid May.

 “We got 2000 acres (810ha) in before rain in May and we’ve been getting showers of eight to 12 millimetres,” Mr Fulton-Kennedy said. “This has been a god pocket for rain, but the properties at Bellata haven’t had any.” Mr Fulton-Kennedy expects to sell at harvest, as he’s still not sure about yields. It’s the smallest crop he’s had for a few years, with 2500ha planted in 2015 and 2025ha planted last year. “We just didn’t have the rain to plant as much this year, but I’m happy we were able to get the Narrabri crop in.

 That’s the only block I’m really confident I’ll be able to harvest.” Pulse Australia industry development agronomist Paul McIntosh, Toowoomba, said crops weren’t only dry, but some had started flowering with hot weather over the past few weeks. “There have been crops in Queensland flowering and podding for all of July. The risk now is frost or cold weather, which will make them lose their flowers and pods.”


http://www.theland.com.au/story/4824500/chickpea-markets-goes-quiet-with-decreased-demand/?
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