The Grain Column with Emma Croft

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

Locally, it has been a frustrating week for many as sporadic but heavy showers interrupt harvest progress.

Slightly drier weather has allowed for some to finish off their winter barley harvest but most are yet to complete harvesting of OSR.

Regardless, yields for both continue to be encouraging, particularly for OSR which so far appears to be performing particularly well.

The first few winter wheat samples have landed on our desks this week and overall quality is good.

We are yet to see a bushel weight below the 75kg/hl mark and protein contents are in accordance with yields (those that have yielded particularly well have a diluted protein content and vice versa).

However, with heavy thunderstorms due this week and plenty of rainfall forecast for many, growers are becoming increasingly frustrated. Further South, reports of sprouting grains, declining hagbergs and damaged grains are littering the internet; fingers crossed we see some better weather over the weekend.

Feed wheat for spot collection off the combine at harvest is currently valued in the region of £140/T ex-farm.

For those of you who are looking to get combining this week, movement is currently very good and both local feed homes and bio-ethanol plants alike are keenly awaiting the arrival of some new crop wheat.

Further forward, September movement offers a further couple of pounds per tonne whilst November collection is offered at £145/T ex-farm.

Feed barley values have slightly firmed this week – sellers looking for immediate collection this week will have to settle around the £116/T to £117/T ex-farm.

Those of you who are a little more flexible and can sell barley for collection in August are in a position to negotiate £120/T ex-farm.

According to AHDB, Spanish barley production is estimated to fall to just 5.6 million tonnes this season due to the recent hot and dry weather, the lowest level seen since 2005.

As a result, we could see elevated levels of imports this season – perhaps in excess of 50% compared to last season.

The UK has historically been a larger supplier of barley to Spain, accounting for 28% on average of Spanish barley imports between 2011 and 2015.

With a larger barley area planted in the UK, although subject to yields, quality and price, we could potentially see larger volumes of UK barley headed for Spain.

Meanwhile, OSR values have succumbed to significant volatility over the last week with spot new crop values trading anywhere from £303/T to £312/T ex-farm. Current values are at the lower end of this spectrum.