The grain column with Emma Croft

Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Ltd.
Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Ltd.

The arrival of much needed rain throughout East Yorkshire this week has brought a sigh of relief for many local growers, particularly for those with spring crops in the ground.

Plentiful showers and warmer weather are also forecast for the weekend and providing the wetter weather doesn’t continue, confidence in this year’s crop should be restored.

Old crop feed wheat is becoming extremely difficult to value this morning as some end use bids are significantly lower than last week’s offers despite little change to the trade screen. Perhaps end-user demand is slipping since the arrival of the Dutch feed wheat vessel into the Humber?

The North/South price divide has also narrowed over the last fortnight – is the “Northern Premium” coming to an end?

As for new crop values, feed wheat for as available collection off the combine is still offered at £135/T ex-farm despite this morning’s price dip. Over the course of last week, £140/T ex-farm was apparently being offered for anywhere from September to January. Currently, £140/T ex-farm can be secured for November/December collection.

Elsewhere, both old and new crop OSR values are unchanged this week despite ongoing weather concerns of drought and frost.

Old crop OSR values are currently valued in the region of £320/T ex-farm as the crushers continue to buy hand to mouth and movement is becoming increasingly thin as we head towards the end of the season.

As for new crop values, OSR for as available collection off the combine at harvest should just about make £295/T ex-farm and doubts over this year’s crop appears to be holding farm-sellers back.

The recent wet weather is certainly welcome but many reports are suggesting that it may be “too little too late”.

Personally I think it is far too early to tell – we have seen some excellent crops produced in similarly dry years.

The latest estimates for the EU have forecast total OSR production at 21 million tonnes – this is only 600,000 tonnes higher than this season’s crop and is firmly below the five year average. If realised, it is likely that the EU will again depend on significant imports from Australia, Canada and the Ukraine, as it has this season, to compensate.

However, these areas appear to be having problems of their own at the moment; Australia could be faced with drought yet and wet conditions over in Canadacould delay planting.

This will be worth monitoring this as the new season gets underway.