The Grain column with Emma Croft

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

Both old and new crop feed wheat values are unchanged this week despite the recent announcement regarding the future of Ensus.

As confirmed by the HGCA last week, CropEnergies AG, who own the Ensus bioethanol plant in Teeside, have announced that the plant will reopen this summer (July at the very latest) after a prolonged period of closure.

They added that the ‘test-run reopening of the plant coincides with a recent sharp increase in EU ethanol prices, as well as the closure of a rival plant in Rotterdam last week’.

However, it is not clear how long the trial period will last, as this will depend on ‘prevailing market conditions’.

But what could this mean for feed wheat prices in the North East?

As advised by AHDB, feed wheat prices in the North East (including Yorkshire) have traded at an average discount of £3.81/T to nearby UK wheat futures this season so far (1st May).

Throughout the last trading season, wheat prices ex the farm in this region traded at an average premium of £2.06/T.

There are many factors that will affect the value of North East grain prices next year – weather, subsequent yield performance and local export opportunities will all play their part but the restart of the Ensus plant could again encourage a higher regional price relative to the wheat futures.

The news hasn’t yet altered the old or new crop wheat market, but this will be an interesting one to watch.

Old crop feed wheat for spot collection is valued in the region of £105.00/T ex-farm this week and with Vivergo, Hull’s bio-ethanol plant apparently ‘running smoothly’ once again, we are finally caught up with grain deliveries.

As for new crop values, feed wheat for September collection has fluctuated between

£108/T - £110/T ex-farm this week, predominantly due to currency movement ahead of next month’s referendum.

Meanwhile, the old crop OSR market has retreated from the recent highs of £285/T + with current values somewhere in the region of £275/T for spot collection.

As for new crop values, £265/T ex-farm currently looks like a realistic offer for harvest collection – final paid values with oil bonuses on top of this wouldn’t be far off the £300/T ex-farm mark that many local growers seem to be targeting at the moment.