Grain column with Emma Croft

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

Old crop feed wheat values are marginally higher this week with spot collection currently offered at £105/T ex-farm. With the first Bank Holiday Weekend out of the way and Vivergo ‘fully’ up and running again following the recent break down, local buyer interest for May/June/July has been much better over the last few days.

Old crop feed barley is continuing to move off the farm at £100/T ex-farm and export opportunity is allowing for relatively swift movement, please contact the office for more information.

According to the latest projections from Russian Consultant Sov Econ, Russian grain exports for the month of April are set to reach a record 2.5 million tonnes. 1.6 million tonnes of this is wheat; for comparison, just 0.58 million tonnes worth of wheat was exported in April 2015. On a season to date basis, Russian grain exports have already overtaken last year’s pace. If the current level of demand continues, Russia could have potentially exported a staggering 31.4 million tonnes worth of grain by the end of the season. Last season, a record 30.8 million tonnes of grain was exported.

Both a ‘favourable exchange rate’ and excellent demand from Egypt have contributed to the above – Russian exports have simply been competitive enough to fight off supplies from other key exporting regions this season, such as the EU and the US. EU wheat exports to date are lagging 7% behind on last year’s season to date totals, US wheat exports are 17% behind.

As for new crop values, the London LIFFE wheat future for November 2016 has continued to trade anywhere between £115/T - £119/T over the last week or so and ex-farm values have fluctuated in accordance with this. Movement in the short term appears to be less affected; feed wheat for September collection isn’t really budging from the £110/T ex-farm position. Movement in the short term however appears to be more prone to volatility – December collection has valued anywhere between £113/T - £118/T ex-farm over the last seven days or so.

Meanwhile, the French OSR for May 2016 expired over the weekend and closed at just a 1 Euro discount to the August position. Old crop ex-farm values have declined to £270/T this morning for spot collection following the decline from the highs of £280/T+ just over a fortnight ago. Old crop OSR stocks are building due to poor crush margins and export opportunities for the remainder of the season are becoming increasingly limited.

As for new prices, values have remained firm as uncertainty regarding the Argentinean soybean harvest continues. Although the weather forecast over the last week or so has been much drier, there still appears to be an issue with waterlogged fields – this will be worth monitoring over the next couple of weeks.