Grain column by Emma Croft

Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.
Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.

Both old and new crop wheat markets have suffered a volatile week over the last seven days with old crop wheat valuing anywhere between £102/T - £107/T ex-farm for spot collection.

As for new crop values, feed wheat for September collection was valued at £115/T ex-farm towards the end of last week. Seven days on and £110/T ex-farm currently looks like a reasonable offer for September collection.

Many sellers had pinpointed September wheat at £115/T ex-farm as their starting point for marketing next year’s crop and although some took instant advantage of this value whilst it was available, the majority did not.

£115/T ex-farm was offered on Thursday morning and by lunchtime the markets had dipped by £3/T; those who opted to take their time to keep an eye on the market for the afternoon simply ended up missing out, at least for the time being anyway.

The moral of the story? The importance of identifying a target figure and sticking to it!

The dry, warmer weather was well received last week and although a few growers are still struggling to get spring crops planted, I think it’s fair to say that good progress was made.

Wheat crops across most of Europe are developing well and although there are some concerns regarding crop quality in Poland, the overall outlook currently looks extremely favourable (a small amount of failed Polish winter wheat has been re-drilled with a spring alternative, the majority of which is yet to establish).

According to Agrimoney.com, the French have planted an ’80-year high record crop’ and conditions there are extremely good – 92% of the wheat was last week described as being in an either ‘good or very good’ condition. Estimates for this year’s soft wheat crop are anywhere between 39 – 42 million tonnes and it seems reasonable at this stage to expect a crop similar to last year’s bumper harvest.

The OSR market has also suffered a volatile week for both old and new crop values. Old crop OSR was offered at £280/T ex-farm for May collection towards the end of last week; as we go to press values are currently in the region of £270/T ex-farm.

Currency appears to be predominantly responsible for the volatility although various trade rumours regarding the ongoing South American soybean harvests also played their part.

As for new crop values, £260/T ex-farm for August collection currently looks like a realistic offer -£270/T ex-farm was offered for harvest this time last week.