Grain Column - Feed wheat values remain unchanged

Emma Croft, Farm Trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.
Emma Croft, Farm Trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.

Old crop feed wheat values are again unchanged this week as the UK grain market continues to lack direction. Feed wheat for spot collection is currently valued in the region of £100-£102/T ex-farm and movement further forward into the early summer months continues to offer minimal premiums. Buyer interest for the April-June period is extremely sluggish; with such a large feed wheat stock carryover forecast for the end of the season, end-users are hardly feeling the pressure to make additional commitments.

The pound as valued at the equivalent of anywhere between EUR1.265 – EUR1.300 over the last 10 days or so and the volatility is having a limited impact on the wheat market because of the ongoing uncertainty regarding the UK’s position within Europe.

We have, however, seen some significant movement in the old crop OSR market over the last week; April collection has valued anywhere between £254 -£259.00/T ex-farm. Many sellers appear to have their eyes firmly focused on the £260/T ex-farm mark at the minute, a price which is currently offered for collection in October.

As for new crop values, the London LIFFE wheat future for November 2016 has made small, although noticeable, gains over the last week, firming new crop feed wheat values for September collection at £110/T ex-farm. For those of you looking for as available collection off the combine at harvest, £107- £108.00/T ex-farm would be a realistic offer.

Providing some support for new crop values this is week are the latest estimates given by Brussels-based analyst group Cocereal for this year’s European grain harvest. They have estimated the 2016 French soft wheat crop at 38.8 million tonnes, a 1.5 million reduction to last year’s bumper crop. Closer to home, they have estimated a wheat crop of 15 million tonnes for the UK, a seven per cent reduction on last year. However, it is important to recognise that they have forecast overall European wheat production at 145.2 million tonnes, which is currently on the higher end of trade expectations.

A favourable forecast for the fortnight ahead for most of western, central and Northern Europe should enable some good progress to be made with spring fieldwork. Locally, heavier Wold land appears to have dried out significantly over the weekend, while other areas along the Vale of York are certainly looking a lot better than they did a week ago.

Elsewhere, early Russian spring grain planting is firmly ahead of last year’s progress due to a period of unusually warm weather. According to local authorities there, 440,000 hectares are now successfully drilled with spring crops.

Ukraine’s early spring plantings are also well advanced at 146,000 hectares.